UMB Sustainability
Nurturing our elm for years to come

News and Upcoming Events

Campus Sustainability Month Starts Now!

October is Campus Sustainability Month! See below for information on the month's offerings, as well as links to register for events. Additional information can be found on our website.

Wednesday, Oct 4 at 12pm: Let's Grow Together: an educational house plant event (at School of Nursing, Room 150) ​

Tuesday, Oct 10 at 12pm: What's the Buzz: an educational bee event (HSF3, Room TBD) ​

Wednesday, Oct 11 from 10am - 2pm: Campus Cleanup (meet outside HSF3) ​

Tuesday, Oct 17 from 11am – 12:30pm: Recycling Center Open House (663 W Saratoga St)​

Specialty Recycling Collections all month (Campus Center and 620 W Lexington)

Reminder: Community Composting Has Begun!

Through a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant with Baltimore City's Department of Public Works, the UMB Office of Sustainability has started a community composting dropoff pilot at two locations.

When and Where to Drop Off

  • Wednesdays, 2:30 - 5:30pm at the Community Engagement Center
  • Thursdays, 11am - 2pm at the SMC Campus Center

Accepted Materials:

  • fruit and vegetable scraps (cores, rinds, pits)
  • tea leaves and coffee grinds
  • egg shells
  • grass clippings, weeds, flowers/herbs

Additional Resources

ECO - New Campus-Wide Student Organization

ECO-Environmental Justice in Action (ECO) is dedicated to amplifying the value of environmental-justice work and fostering greater knowledge and awareness of the interconnections between climate change, health equity, and the UMB professional disciplines.

Learn more about ECO and how to get involved on their website.

Foundations of Sustainability Micro-Course

The Office of Sustainability is launching a series of online, asynchronous micro-courses about sustainability leadership through The Learning Institute. The first of three courses - Foundations of Sustainability - is now live and accessible to all UMB students, staff, and faculty.

You can register to take the first course here.

NexTrex Update

From July 1, 2023 – January 1, 2024, the Office of Sustainability will provide specialty recycling collection bins for plastic film and bags at UMB. UMB aims to collect 500 lbs of soft plastics from across campus for the Trex® Challenge. Upon achieving this goal, UMB will receive a donated composite bench from Trex®.

270.9 pounds have been collected so far!

Three new sites have been added to the collection: HSFI, HSHSL, and School of Law,

Check out the NexTrex Challenge current projects page for collection updates throughout the challenge!

Freezer Rebate Program Re-Launched for FY24

The Green Labs Freezer Rebate Program has $20,000 worth of funding available this academic year on a first come, first-serve basis for UMB labs who are looking to replace an old, inefficient ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezer with a new, more efficient one.

Learn more about the program and how you can participate on our website.

Monthly Green Tip

Our October Green Tip is about how to have a green Halloween at the end of this month!

Download the Green Tip graphic by visiting our website.

Get Involved in Baltimore

Free Trees for Baltimore City Residents!

Up to two trees can be reserved per household for pickup at over 10 locations throughout the city. Pickup events run from 9/23 to 11/4. Check out the TreeBaltimore website to select your species and pickup location/date. Please note that these trees are intended for front or back yards, not for tree pits in the public right of way. Sizes range from 1-3 gallon pots. There is limited stock left, so be sure to reserve your trees today! 

Baltimore City DPW's GROW Center Events Begin October 4th

(including composting workshops!)

Each spring and fall, the Department of Public Works hosts GROW Center events that provide free greening resources, giveaways, and workshops. This fall, DPW will be hosting 9 pop-up and workshop events beginning on October 4th and running through early November. Pop-up events provide free trees, mulch, and information, and the workshops are on topics such as composting and home gardening. All workshops provided are free but require registration as space is limited. Please view the complete list of events and register at Eventbrite.

Baltimore City Awarded $4M from EPA for Compost Facility

The new facility will be co-located with the East Side Transfer Station off of Bowleys Lane. The facility is planned to include solar panels, and is estimated to divert 12,000 tons of organic materials from the landfill and incinerator. Read more here.

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Baltimore City DPW Launches Textile Recycling

Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) announced that residents can now bring used clothing, shoes, sheets, and other textiles to any of DPW’s five Residential Drop-off Centers, where large blue collection bins will be available.

Items placed in the blue bins that are suitable for reuse will be sorted and distributed to thrift partners in North America and around the world. Items not suitable for reuse will be recycled into new materials or products such as insulation or industrial wiper rags.

The items placed in the blue bins can be stained, worn, ripped, missing buttons, or have broken zippers. All items must be dry, however. Learn more here.


Sustainability Term of the Month

Microplastics: microscopic remnants of plastics that wind up and break down in our landfills, oceans, and even our bodies; they are caused by items including water bottles, packaging materials, synthetic clothing, and tires.

Learn more about microplastics on the NOAA website. A few ways that you can reduce your microplastics pollution and consumption are:

  • Use a microplastics filter bag when laundering clothing
  • Avoid using single-use plastics like water bottles, bags, and utensils
  • Reduce shellfish consumption

Join a Sustainability Working Group

Looking for a way to get more involved with sustainability at UMB? Join one of our four sustainability working groups! Working groups are open to students, staff, and faculty. Working group meetings are held once every two months for a total of six meetings each year. Meetings last one hour, and some work outside of bimonthly meetings will be required.

If you are interested in joining any of the four working groups (Reduction, Resiliency, Engagement & Education, and Green Labs), please fill out this form. For a brief summary of each working group, visit this page.

October Environmental Dates

Find a cause in October to support!

All Month





Campus Sustainability Month

World Habitat Day

Energy Efficiency Day

International E-Waste Day

International Day of Climate Action

Additional Resources

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Contact Us

Office of Sustainability

620 West Lexington Street

Baltimore, Maryland 21201

[email protected]

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Office of Sustainability, University of Maryland, Baltimore