The Omega Institute has a comprehensive recycling program. We recycle everything from cardboard, office paper, and Post-it® notes to printer cartridges, CDs, and alkaline batteries. We also recycle a wide variety of plastics, including numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7. Food scraps are composted from the Dining Hall kitchen, Omega Café, and even the staff kitchen, at nearby MacEnroe Organic Farm.
Omega's recycling program expanded when we committed to building the Omega Center for Sustainable Living according to LEED® Platinum and Living Building Challenge standards. All the contractors working at the OCSL joined in Omega's efforts to meet these green standards by clearing their trucks of materials containing hazardous chemicals, retraining to work with salvaged building materials, and participating in construction waste recycling and landfill diversion for metals, cardboard, rigid foam, and wood. They also left their cigarettes at home, drank from reusable coffee cups, and composted their food scraps. For many, the OCSL project was a comprehensive and positive introduction to a more sustainable way of building, and living.
At the heart of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living is the Eco Machine™, the culmination of Omega's recycling program. The Eco Machine™ reclaims all of Omega's wastewater by mimicking nature's purification process. It does so using zero chemicals and net zero energy. At Omega, we draw our water from deep wells that tap an aquifer beneath campus. Once the water is used—in showers, sinks, and toilets—it flows to the Eco Machine™ at the OCSL, where it is cleaned. The purified water is then safely dispersed back to the aquifer, completing a closed hydrological loop. It's a comprehensive recycling process that happens on campus at the Omega Center for Sustainable Living, everyday.