KCC is one of the first schools to offer an important new 6 credit hour, online Sustainable Resource Management (SRM) Certificate program. Graduates will be eligible to take the new nationally accredited Illinois State SRM certification exam. Seven KCC graduates have already taken the course and are all employed in the field of waste management.
The school’s commitment to waste reduction, however, goes far beyond academics. In a 2015 Department of Commerce and Economic Organization program, they showed a phenomenal diversion rate of 69.1%, far exceeding the 40% requirement. Their effective approach includes reusing, recycling and composting. They recycled almost 24,000 lbs. of paper, 20,000 lbs. of cardboard, 11,700 lbs. of plastics, 4,400 lbs. of pallets and 418 pounds of books.. They also sold 385 lbs. of aluminum, 7,200 lbs. of scrap metal, and 204 lbs. of batteries as well as fluorescent bulbs, cell phones and glass.
Meanwhile, old KCC computers found their way to far off places such as Piedras Negras, Mexico, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Senegal, and Nigeria. These were part of the 7,378 lbs. of technology equipment they donated to World Computer Exchange. In addition, they repurposed 2,600 lbs. of books through Better World Books
To eliminate plastic water bottles, KCC installed five on-campus hydration/water bottle filling stations. This effort saved 34,784 disposable plastic bottles from going to the landfill while saving staff and students $55,306.56 in water purchases. More stations are being planned.