Discover the collective actions taken by students, faculty, and staff to make Pikes Peak Community College more sustainable.
Academic Programs, Courses, and Initiatives
We highly encourage you to meet with an academic advisor before pursuing a degree and/or taking a course to ensure that you meet your academic goals.
Associate of Science (A.S.) in Environmental Science (in development)
Compass Curriculum: Since 2010, Pikes Peak Community College is integrating sustainability concepts and practices into all courses that prepare transfer students to meet the general education requirements at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (UCCS).
We recognize that the support of our community partners is critical to maximizing the impact of our sustainability efforts.
Fountain Creek Watershed, Flood Control, and Greenway District's Creek Week Cleanup
- The Office of Sustainability participates in the largest watershed-wide litter cleanup in Colorado called Creek Week Cleanup, located alongside Goose Gossage Sports Complex. This portion of Monument Creek takes place at least once a semester Also, we serve on the planning committee to grow the impact of the event each year.
- The Sustainability Coordinator serves as the board chair of the Green Cities Coalition. This membership-based organization hosts monthly networking events and shares information on local, national, and international sustainability efforts on their Facebook Group.
- Pikes Peak Community College hosts the annual event that gives over 800 District 11 4th graders a chance to learn about water, wildlife, and pollution in a fun, hands-on setting. The Office of Sustainability coordinates volunteers and campus resources.
- The Sustainability Coordinator regularly attends and gives presentations at this monthly event that features speakers on various sustainability topics.
- The Office of Sustainability funded the first LED lighting project on the third floor of the Aspen Building at the Centennial Campus. Since then, the college is replacing all lights, where appropriate, with these high-efficient lights.
- Picnic Tables
- Located at the Centennial and Rampart Range Campuses
- Funded by Student Government
- Crosswalk Signs
- Located at the Centennial and Rampart Range Campuses
- Emergency Call Boxes
- Located in parking lots
Food Pantries are available to students at all three campuses.
- The Mobile Food Market is held monthly during the semester for anyone in the community.
- To learn about other types of assistance, including transportation, childcare, and mental health, visit the Basic Needs Assistance website.
At the Centennial Campus, you will find beautiful gardens that host a large variety of vegetation. Not only do they serve as beautification that is inviting for students and staff, but they also provide the community with vegetables and shade during the hot summer months for outdoor activities.
- The Culinary Arts Program teaches students and the community the concept of seed to plate by growing leafy vegetables indoors from a vertical hydroponic system.
- This system was supported by an El Paso County Investment Program Grant.
Mountain Metro Transit's College Pass Program
What is it?
How much does it cost?
Students pay a Bus Pass Fee of $10 per semester as part of their tuition and fees. $5 pays for basic service, and $5 supports Bus Route #40.
When can I use the service?
Students can ride on Mountain Metro Transit buses year-round for both college and non-college-related travel. Bus service on Route 40 is limited to the fall and spring semesters. You lose access to the service on the class drop date of the next semester you are no longer enrolled in classes.
How do I ride?
Students can plan their trips using the smartphone application Google Maps. You can also visit Student Life to pick up pocket maps and route brochures. For new riders, visit Mountain Metro Transit's How to Ride webpage.
Why should I take the bus?
Economic: Students pay $10 per semester compared to $63 for a 31-Day pass.
Social: The College Bus Pass Program provides some of PPCC's most financially insecure students access to reliable transportation.
Environmental: Reduce your carbon footprint.
What is the status of Bus Route #40?
Bus Route #40 travels between the Voyager Transfer Station (VTC), Rampart Range Campus (RRC), and the Center for Healthcare Education and Simulation (CHES).
Spring Semester of 2021
Mountain Metro Transit and Pikes Peak Community College agreed to postponed service on Bus Route #40 until Fall Semester 2021. These changes are due to the Covid-19 pandemic, support other high ridership routes, and a switch to remote learning for many classes. As a result, students were charged $5, instead of $10, for the Bus Pass Fee.
*Announcement: Mountain Metro Transit is proposing changes to their routes. You have until February 25 to review these changes and offer your feedback on this website.
Fall Semester of 2021 (depending on the status of the pandemic)
Mountain Metro Transit is expanding Bus Route 40 to serve the Center for Healthcare Education & Simulation (CHES) at 1850 Cypress Semi Drive, Colorado Springs, CO.
Weekday service on Bus Route 40 will reduce to 10.5 hours. The route will now operate Monday-Friday from 7:34 AM to 5:28 PM. Here are the approximate travel times for two different trips.
- From RRC to CHES (one-way): 7 minutes
- From VTC to RRC (one-way): 9 minutes
Can I bring my bicycle on the bus?
Mountain Metro Transit buses can accommodate up to two bicycles. If the bike rack is full, please wait for the next bus.
How did this program come about?
The Office of Sustainability championed this program after hearing from students about the financial burden of paying $63 for a 31-day bus ticket. The Office negotiated with PPCC leadership and Mountain Metro Transit for four years to provide this vital service for students.
To learn about other types of assistance, including food, childcare, and mental health, visit the Basic Needs Assistance website.
Bike Share Initiatives
In the Spring of 2019, the Office of Sustainability partnered with PikeRide to offer free memberships for their bike-sharing service. Since the service was only available in Downtown Colorado Springs at the time, we hoped the program would appeal to students at PPCC's Downtown Studio Campus. They often voice frustration about finding parking or walking the two blocks from the Mountain Metro Transit Terminal. Unfortunately, there were not enough students interested despite our best efforts to promote the program.
In the Fall of 2019, the Office of Sustainability partnered with PikeRide again to pilot the bike-sharing service at PPCC's Centennial Campus. The two goals of this initiative were to introduce students to PikeRide and train them to use the underpass when traveling to the South Academy Highlands Shopping Center. We observed students dangerously attempting the cross busy South Academy Boulevard where there is no crosswalk. We partnered with Mod Pizza to offer students a 50% discount on a meal for showing they used PikeRide.
In the Summer of 2020, the sustainability coordinator rode his bicycle 20-miles per day during June. He produced a series of Bike Month YouTube videos that share tips on how to safely bike using the many trails throughout Colorado Springs.
- Low-flow faucets, toilets, urinals, and showers in all facilities.
- Low-water landscaping with the use of native plants, drip irrigation, and mulch or rock.
- Leave undeveloped land undisturbed.
Pikes Peak Community College is committed to reducing the supplies needed for operation and diverting waste from the landfill and into a production stream.
Pack-It-In Pack-It-Out Program
The 3rd Leave-No-Trace Principle of disposing of waste properly when visiting the great outdoors inspired this program. We encourage students, faculty, and instructors to take any trash or recyclables they brought into the classroom back out to the hallway to dispose of in a waste station. Please wait until the end of class to avoid disrupting the learning environment. This program does not change waste collection in laboratories.
Here are the triple-bottom-line benefits of this program:
- Social: The removal of waste receptacles in the classroom decreases the spread of allergens and germs. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about two students per class have a food allergy (Source). Also, students waiting to eat food and dispose of their waste until after class minimizes distractions in the classroom.
- Economic/Financial: This program will save the college $37,000 in purchasing trash and recycling receptacles for over 200 classrooms across three campuses. Also, the consolidation of waste collection will provide custodial staff with more time to focus on other tasks, such as sanitizing surfaces.
- Environmental: The better-equipped hallway waste stations will reduce contamination in the recycling stream. This benefit helps the college retain its waste hauling service and ensure more recyclables end up as new products.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What if I need to blow my nose?
- If you are sick, we advise you to stay at home until you are better. Otherwise, we encourage you to blow your nose in a bathroom where you can wash your hands. You could also carry personal facial tissue and hand sanitizer. You can dispose of the tissue on the landfill side of a waste station.
- What if I ate food that was messy?
- We advise students to wait until after class to eat food in one of our many lounge spaces. Eating food can distract other students from learning in the classroom. Make sure to wash your hands finishing your snack or meal.
PPCC offers single-stream recycling throughout our three campuses. Look for waste stations with the blue opening and a chasing arrow symbol. These stations are made from recycled milk jugs! Also, graphic design students created the signs for the indoor waste stations.
The Office of Sustainability and the Department of Facilities and Operations co-managed the recycling program. Since 2012, they have made significant investments in upgrading the trash and recycling receptacles. The program also received funding from the PPCC Pilot Project and Campus Improvement Program and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's The Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) Grant Program.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I drop-off my household recyclables?
- PPCC does not provide a public drop-off recycling service at any of our campuses. Please contact one of the many waste hauling companies to inquire about recycling and composting services.
- Is it recyclable?
- A general rule of thumb is "When in Doubt, Throw it Out." In other words, dispose of the item in the landfill (trash) receptacle to avoid potentially contaminating the entire recycling container.
- If you are a college employee, you are welcome to contact us using the form below.
- If you are at home, check out your waste hauler's website and the El Paso County Recycling Directory.
- A custodian seems to be placing a bag of recycling into a rolling trash container.
- The custodial closets do not have enough space to accommodate separate waste containers for collecting trash and recycling. Custodians differentiate between the two using black bags for trash and clear bags for recycling.
- A custodian seems to be placing a bag of recycling into the landfill (trash) dumpster.
- Our trained custodial staff looks for wide-spread food and liquid contamination in the recycling receptacles. If a custodian identifies a bag with this issue, they will dispose of it in the landfill (trash) dumpster to avoid contaminating the entire recycling dumpster. This quality control step is critical to the college retaining its recycling hauling service.
Hydration Station Program
PPCC has invested in reusable water-bottle refilling stations throughout our three campuses. These stations dispense chilled and filtered water directly from snow-melt in the Rocky Mountains. This never-used before water rivals the quality of bottled water. The hydration stations significantly reduce waste generated from single-use bottled water.
Single-Use Bottled-Water Policy
The State of Colorado has banned the purchase of single-use bottle water using state funds. As a result, PPCC employees are not allowed to purchase this product for any official functions. Students, staff, and faculty can still purchase bottled-water using their own money from our cafes, bookstores, and vending machines.
Electronic or E-Waste Program
- Batteries: PPCC recycles all batteries purchased using state funds.
- Computers: PPCC donates computers to local school districts.
- We only offer e-waste recycling services for business purposes. For a list of services provided in the community, check out the El Paso County Recycling Directory.
PPCC generates a small amount of pre-consumer food waste from our cafes, Culinary Arts Program, and the Child Development Centers. The Office of Sustainability is researching small-scale composting systems to trial at the Centennial Campus. They plan on using the compost for amending the soil in the courtyard gardens.
Disposable Water Bottles Saved
A Whopping 1,329,822 Disposable Plastic Bottles Saved! As of February 2018, PPCC has saved 1,329,822 water bottles through our hydration stations that are located around the campuses. Not only has hundreds of thousands of dollars been saved, but over a million empty water bottles have stayed off our streets and water ways, providing us a cleaner, more efficient community!
Estimated Cost Saved by PPCC Water Stations
The average cost of a single use water bottle according to MightyNest.com is $1.35. And the average consumer spends $225 on water bottles per year. Taking into account how many water bottles have been saved by using PPCC's water stations, the cost savings is astronomical!