New Policy Prohibits Using University Funds to Purchase Single-Serving Bottled Water
New students, faculty and staff at Rochester Institute of Technology added a new item to their orientation materials this year—reusable water bottles. This is part of a larger campus-wide effort to reduce the amount of bottled water used on campus.
RIT has implemented a new policy in which departments and campus groups will no longer be allowed to use university funds to purchase single-serving bottles of water. Bottled water will still be available for sale in vending machines, at sporting events and in retail locations on campus if individuals choose to spend their own money. Water fountains are everywhere on campus and water is available at fountain locations in dining centers at no cost.
In addition, water refilling stations will be installed in all future construction and major renovation projects to make it even easier for people to fill their reusable bottles. RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf has already taken the initiative to install two of these in existing buildings.
“In a time when we are increasingly mindful of the rising cost of education and are working hard to enhance campus sustainability efforts, this move just makes sense,” says RIT President Bill Destler. “It is difficult to justify spending university funds on bottled water when the quality of our tap water is so high, and it is free.” This now policy could be the start towards a campus-wide ban on single-use plastic bottled water as they move forward, fulfilling their sustainability initiatives.
Three years ago, then-Gov. David Paterson enacted a similar rule via Executive Order 18, phasing out the expenditure of New York state funds for the purchase of bottled water by state agencies.