Sustainable Operations at Mines



Mines contracts with Sodexo, a food services company that services many universities nationwide. More details about Sodexo sustainability, visit 


The Custodial Department at the Colorado School of Mines evaluates different cleaning products, attempting to use green cleaning products whenever possible. The Custodial Department also tries to utilize cleaning products in an efficient manner, reducing the output of unnecessary chemicals.


The Colorado School of Mines utilizes single stream recycling on campus where a variety of non-food contaminated materials can be thrown a single recycle bin. Examples of materials that can be thrown in the recycle bins are aluminum, paper, plastic, flattened cardboard, and glass bottles. The recycling guidelines can be found here.

Hard to recycle items

Mines does recycle items that are not accepted by traditional recycling companies. These items include batteries, tires and tubes, electronics and computers, paint and oil, etc. that can pose a health hazard if they are put in the landfill.  We contract with local and state companies that specialize in these products and have good sustainability ratings for their services.  A few local resources are found below:

Rooney Road Recycling Center (Golden)

SustainAbility (Arvada)

Energy Policy

The Colorado School of Mines has an energy policy that outlines behaviors to ensure that the entire campus is doing its part to use electricity, water, and steam as efficiently as possible. This energy policy can be found here.

New Technologies

The Colorado School of Mines Facilities Management Division is constantly evaluating new technologies for use in buildings to help improve efficiency. Currently, Mines utilizes several energy efficient technologies throughout the campus. Some of these technologies include direct digital control of HVAC in almost all buildings on campus, lighting control and occupancy sensors in most areas, LED exterior lighting in new parking lots, variable frequency drive chillers and VFDs on motors, efficient Maxitherm heat exchangers, and energy recovery coils on lab air handlers. A link to the building automation site can be found here.

Energy Performance Contract

The Colorado School of Mines has hired an engineering and construction firm, McKinstry, to conduct a performance contract for the campus. A performance contract is a project that upgrades energy-using components in buildings and utilizes projected energy savings to finance the project. Actions in this contract may include replacing single pane windows with double pane windows or replacing an old inefficient boiler or chiller with a new one that is more energy efficient. In the performance contract that Mines undertook, old T-12 technology lighting was replaced with new T-8 lighting, most of the toilets and sinks on campus were retrofitted with water saving devices, a new central irrigation control system was installed, and energy recovery coils on lab air handlers were installed. The project saved over $300,000, almost 1,400,000 kWh of electricity, almost 12,000,000 pounds of steam, and over 15 million gallons of water in its first year. A phase two project is in the early planning stage, awaiting funding.