Campus Life

Sustainability at The Hill School

At The Hill School, the term sustainability means having policies and strategies that meet our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Another definition created by John Elkington suggests that sustainable organizations measure their success not only based on financial performance but also by their impact on the broader economy, the environment, and on the society in which they operate.

The Hill School is striving to increase efficiency and minimize waste. These endeavors not only help to reduce operational costs, but also to further The Hill School’s mission. As a school, The Hill is committed to serving the common good and preparing students to lead as citizens of the world. Upon graduation, students will enter a world with a limited amount of resources and a growing population. Informing students about conserving energy and efficiently using resources will aid Hill graduates in making complicated decisions in both their personal and professional lives.

The mission of Hill's sustainability program is to prepare students to tackle complex environmental, economic, and social challenges by:
 

1.   Raising awareness and promoting the greater good
2.   Integrating sustainability into all aspects of community life
3.   Providing opportunities for education, leadership, and service

For questions regarding sustainability, please contact High Meadows Chair of Sustainability Brett Dioguardi at bdioguardi@thehill.org.

Single-Stream Recycling Program

Our recycling program at The Hill is "single-stream," meaning that all recyclables go into the same container; there is no need to separate items such as cans, bottles, and plastics from newspaper and cardboard.

Recycling bins are in the common areas of all dorms and many other places across campus. (Our recycling bins are themselves made of recycled materials; over 1,000 milk jugs go into making each bin!)

Recyclable Items

The following items can be recycled via Hill's single-stream recycling program.

  • Metal: Tin and aluminum cans, aluminum foil, empty pie tins, empty paint cans.
  • Glass: Jars and bottles.
  • Cardboard: Empty, flattened, and loose.
  • Pizza boxes
  • Mixed Paper: Newspaper, magazines, mail (junk and personal), phone books, food boxes (remove plastic liner), computer paper, flyers, wrapping paper (no foil or plastic wrap), soda and beer cartons (no food-soiled paper, please!).
  • Plastic Containers: Recycle #1 through #7 plastics ONLY (mostly beverage and detergent containers). Look for one of these numbers on the bottom of the container to see if it’s acceptable.

Recyclable Items with Special Circumstances

The following items are recyclable but are subject to special circumstances (i.e. please do not put them in the single-stream recycling):

  • Printer cartridges
  • Batteries
  • General electronics

There are special small bins for these items on each residence hall and in administrative areas; these bins are collected periodically.

Non-Recyclable Items

Please do not introduce the following items into Hill's single-stream recycling system.

  • Ceramics
  • Dishes
  • Coffee Cups
  • Drinking Glasses
  • Glass Ovenware
  • Pyrex
  • Vision Ware
  • Window Glass
  • Mirrors
  • Lightbulbs
  • Plastics without #1–#7 Labeling
  • Plastic Bags
  • Styrofoam Packaging
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Tissues
  • Paper Towels
  • Wax Paper Cartons
  • Metallic or Coated Paper
  • Waxed Boxes
  • Books
  • Toys

Sustainable Dining

Our dining service practices have been a great area for an enhanced focus on sustainability over the past few years. Here are just a few of the great accomplishments being made in our dining service sustainability initiatives.

Composting

The Hill School now composts all food waste from seated and buffet meals, as well as leftover prep waste from our kitchen staff. 

Tray-less Dining

We successfully initiated tray-less buffet dining. This step reduces our environmental impact by requiring the use of less water and chemicals to clean trays. Another positive effect of a trayless dining hall is less food waste, as members of the community are more likely to take smaller portions — only taking what they can carry.

Waste Reduction and 100% Chinaware

Waste reduction in the dining hall is a hot topic. We continue to seek student interest and involvement in this issue and large improvements have been made on this front. We now track our waste after each meal in order to identify future adjustments in portions. We have taken the opportunity to educate our community about portions and encourage diners to finish what is on the table before getting additional bowls or plates of food. We are saving about 60 pounds of food a day over previous usage!

We have also limited the amount of desserts and beverages served during seated meals; this has cut back on our waste tremendously. By providing only water on the table at seated meals, we have provided a healthier option while reducing waste.

Additionally, dining services no longer provides disposable plates, cups, or utensils at meals; we use only chinaware.

High Meadows Chair of Sustainability

During the spring of the 2009-10 school year, a prescient $1 million gift funded the High Meadows Foundation Chair of Sustainability and the High Meadows Foundation Sustainability program. The establishment of these two endowed funds ensures that there is annual income to support the faculty position and operating dollars to support focused sustainability initiatives and programs at Hill. Our current Chair of Sustainability is Brett Dioguardi.

Mr. Dioguardi arrived at The Hill in 2017.  In addition to being the High Meadows Chair of Sustainability, he teaches environmental science, coaches varsity football, and serves as a dormitory parent in Foster. 

The son of two teachers, Brett grew up in South Florida and participated in an environmental magnet program in high school. He attended Davidson College where he studied biology and was a wide receiver on the football team. To expand his environmental and sustainability experience, Brett embarked on a career path that took him across the world with stops at TOMS Shoes in California, an environmental high school in New York City, graduate school in England at the University of Plymouth (U.K.), sustainability consulting in Connecticut, and a green building startup in Colorado. During this time he met and married his wife, Lauren, and settled down in Denver, working for four years on the sustainability team at Chipotle Mexican Grill. Lauren and Brett have two young sons, Duke and Ace. Brett enjoys snowboarding, watching HGTV, traveling, and entrepreneurship (he is proud to note that he co-founded a business called “Wee Wigs” which marketed tiny, funny wigs for babies).