Campus Sustainability Efforts

One of the goals of UNLV's Sustainability Initiative is to encourage the university campus to be a model of sustainability for the community through such efforts as recycling, construction of energy-efficient buildings, xeriscaping, and retrofitting facilities.

And our efforts are being recognized, as UNLV Facilities Management Department was recently informed that it is a 2009 recipient of the Cashman Good Government Award, sponsored by the Nevada Taxpayers Association, for the impressive sustainability measures implemented to date. The annual award, given in recognition of efficient and effective use of taxpayer funds, was bestowed upon the department for maintaining consistent energy costs despite substantial campus growth, including nearly $11 million in cost savings since 2001. The department was also recognized for maintaining the university’s xeric demonstration garden and for its comprehensive recycling efforts.

The following list describes some of the many efforts currently under way. To learn more about UNLV's energy- and water-saving efforts, visit the Facilities Management and Planning website.

Club Ride Carpool Program
UNLV participates in the Regional Transportation Commission Club Ride Commuter Services. Club Ride is a benefits program designed to encourage commuters to walk, bike, transit, or carpool to UNLV to help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. There is no cost to sign up for Club Ride at by clicking on Register. Then, pick up your Club Ride Swipe Card at the UNLV Parking and Transportation Services Office. Full details of the Club Ride program can be found at and at or call Phil Amundson, UNLV Club Ride Coordinator, at 895-1300.

LEED-Certified Buildings
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings. Projects are awarded Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum certification depending on the number of credits they achieve.

Xeriscaping/Turf Reduction
UNLV has been striving for a 25 percent reduction in outdoor water use by the year 2010. Since 1995, the university has converted more than 855,000 square feet of turf to water-smart landscaping, a savings of as much as 45 million gallons of water each year. During this period, water use has been reduced by 45 percent per square foot, despite consistent campus growth.

UNLV is committed to retrofitting campus buildings to increase energy efficiency. Energy management systems are being implemented on existing buildings as appropriate. As a result, use of electricity and natural gas has been reduced by 38 percent per square foot since 2001.

Solar Generation

Since its inception in July 1995, the in-house Rebel Recycling Program has continued to expand its collection of recyclable materials, with 697 tons of materials processed in 2008, an average of 2.8 tons per work day and a 6 percent increase over 2007. Between 2003 and 2008, a total of 2,856 tons of paper alone were recycled, which translates into 8,568 cubic yards of landfill space saved.

Rebel Recycling also oversees a move-in/move-out program for UNLV residence halls and holds a semi-annual sale of reusable items. It offers special pick-ups for campus departments, office clean-out bins, and free shredding services. If you have suggestions for increasing recycling on campus, call 895-3760.

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