Conservation of our resources is a fundamental aspect of sustainability. Going trayless means that when we go through food lines in the cafeterias, or elsewhere, we do so without a tray. Being trayless conserves food, and the water that it takes to wash the tray.

The University of Tulsa encourages its faculty, staff and student body to “Go Trayless”, to help in our conservation efforts on campus.

Filtration Stations

The filtration stations encourage students and faculty to use refillable water bottles instead of buying plastic water bottles that will produce significant amounts of waste.

At least one water filtering station has been installed in every major building on campus. The water filtration stations include a counter that records how many plastic bottles of water have been saved from each station. The Sustainability water bottles have been made available for all incoming students, as well as additional students and faculty at the Activities Fair and Collins Fitness Center.

Orca Green Machine

The Orca Green Machine quickly decomposes and turns food waste into gray water that is sent to the sewer system. This saves money on disposal and transportation costs and reduces methane gas in landfills.

An Orca Machine was installed in August 2011 for Case dining waste.

Energy Management

The goal is to implement gridSMART technology into the large academic buildings, eventually followed by campus apartments.

This technology will allow students to use electricity more efficiently.

Energy Metering Project

The goal is to improve building features to save money and electricity. A specific target is installation of occupancy sensors as part of all renovations and new construction to save lighting costs.

  • Sensors have been added to Mabee gym
  • Sensors in Law School’s construction
  • KEP Hall’s classrooms are completed with sensor lighting. Third floor of HELM has increased the arch value of the building envelope, increased insulation to a 4 factor of 30
  • Construction was done on Tyrell Hall, replacing lighting and other structural changes to improve the electrical mechanical elements and improve efficiency of the roof tile, and the single pane leaded glass windows were rebuilt, maintaining the original look.

Paper Initiatives

The goal is to save paper through the implementation of paperless services.

  • Direct deposit requirement for most payroll and reimbursement transactions
  • Duplex Printing in computer labs
  • Campus Connection for TU Important Paperwork
  • Human Resources Monthly leave form now mandatory online completion
  • Physical Plant currently working on distributing work orders via mobile devices and no more paper printed work orders
  • TU Employee Phone Directory is no longer printed, only available online
  • Double-sided coping default initiative Collins College of Business and the Student Association
  • Collins College of Business Academic Advising Office completed conversion from paper files to electronic files
  • Summer 2010 – estimates 80% less paper used. Campus initiative with new records retention policy to convert from paper to electronic files as much as possible.
  • New print quote policy. Each student is limited to 1,000 black and white pages or page-sides per semester. After the 1,000 pages have been reached, students will be required to purchase more pages. This is in efforts to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions resulting from printing.


Major efforts have been made campus wide to make recycling options available. TU has also participated and excelled in RecycleMania.

  • Academic buildings are equipped with blue paper recycling bends.
  • The apartment complexes have recycling Pro-Tainers for plastic, aluminum, and paper. Glass can be left next to the Pro-Tainer to be picked up by the Physical Plant.
  • Additional Recycling can be dropped off in the West Yard at the Physical Plant.
  • Recycling bends have been added to the Reynolds Center and Chapman Stadium to recycle during athletic events.
  • Ongoing efforts to increase recycling options inside academic buildings.
  • Single stream recycling is being considered and assessed via student surveys.
  • Single stream (also known as “fully commingled”) recycling refers to a system in which all paper fibers and containers are mixed together in a collection truck, instead of being sorted into separate commodities (newspaper, cardboard, plastic, glass, etc.


  • New draught resistant trees and plant species have been installed across campus.
  • Drip Irrigation was added at the same time as the new drought resistant trees and plants. Drip irrigation allows for slower release of water which in turn concerves water, as well as fertalizer.
  • Pesticides and Fertilizers: TU only spot sprays for pest problems and fertizers twice a year.
  • Equipment: Tu uses diesel tools and low emmision, mulching mowers.