Monday, March 27, 2023

UNCW’s Sustainable Resources for the Community [Free read]

NC Coastal Federation and the City of Wilmington Heal Our Waterways partnered with UNCW to establish new rain gardens around campus where volunteers help plant 3 excavated gardens near Depaolo Hall and DeLoach Hall Monday June 17, 2019. PHOTO BY: JEFF JANOWSKI/UNCW

While most people think of environmental stewardship when they think of sustainability, by definition, sustainability is more complex. Sustainability is a three-legged stool – each leg is equally important. The legs are the pillars of people, planet and profit, and each pillar is considered in all decisions and activities.

At the University of North Carolina Wilmington, sustainability focuses on creating innovative and resilient solutions with applied learning possibilities while simultaneously ensuring we preserve all opportunities for future generations. The university is working hard to create a cleaner, healthier and more equitable future for all. We invite you to learn more about the sustainability resources available to anyone in the Cape Fear region.

Recycling Depot

UNCW Recycling accepts materials that are not accepted at other recycling facilities. In addition to traditional recycling, Styrofoam, #5 plastics and plastic bags can be dropped off at the Recycling Depot on Lionfish Drive 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Electronics can be dropped off at the warehouse (adjacent to the depot) between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 11:30 a.m. on Fridays.

UNCW recently participated in the National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Race to Zero Waste, collecting just over 24,000 pounds of electronic waste to be recycled! To contact UNCW Recycling, please email

Hikes and Walks

There are several trails to enjoy the beauty of UNCW’s campus. Bluethenthal Wildflower Preserve boasts five ecosystems in 10 acres. If you prefer sidewalk to mulch, the Teal Trail is a 1.65-mile path with signs indicating various sustainability efforts.

Request a Stormwater Tour

Students will be hosting tours of the various stormwater control measures throughout the campus during the academic year. As North Carolina’s coastal university, sustainability takes water quality and stormwater management seriously. The Sustainability Peer Educators can tailor this walking tour to be less than a mile up to 3.12 miles, including nine different examples of stormwater control measures.

Climate Resiliency Plan

The Venn diagram of sustainability and resiliency have considerable overlap. Protecting resources from damage or overuse is a common goal. Additionally, the number and intensity of storms are expected to grow with increased temperatures in the climate. UNCW students have written a draft Climate Resiliency Plan, and we are looking to the community and subject matter experts to finalize the document.

Along with the regularly provided experiences and resources above, we frequently host educational events and volunteer opportunities open to the public. To learn more, sign the UNCW Sustainability Pledge and opt-in to the newsletter. Specific sustainability questions or ideas can be submitted to

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