About us

The grounds team is committed to the upkeep of the campus grounds. This includes lawn care, landscape design and maintenance, irrigation, recycling, equipment maintenance, and construction site work. During the winter months, the grounds team is additionally responsible for snow removal. Snow removal includes plowing, salting, and shoveling 6 miles of roadways, 14 miles of walks, 30 acres of parking lots, and over 300 steps.

Did you know?

The grounds department plants over 12,000 tulips and daffodils each year.


Recycling program

Responding to God's call to care for creation, Calvin University initiated a recycling program in the early 1980s. What started as a basic program to collect glass, metal, plastic and paper products has grown into a service able to handle a wide range of materials from styrofoam to construction debris. We are always looking to expand in new directions, so if you have an idea you want to share, please look for contact information below.

The recycling program at Calvin University is managed by Grounds department staff. In addition to commonly recycled items such as paper, glass, metal and plastic, resident students and staff can recycle a variety of other materials. The university’s Recycling Coordinator oversees the program and records totals on a yearly basis.

In 2015, the recycling totals included:

  • 2.13 tons of fluorescent lamps
  • 1200 lbs. of batteries
  • 15.8 tons of electronics
  • 0.108 tons of polystyrene
  • 0.36 tons of ballasts
  • 88.75 tons of scrap iron
  • 347.62 tons of compacted trash
  • 251.18 tons of bulk Item trash
  • 162.57 tons of FEL trash
  • 84.13 tons of comingled recycling
  • 71.81 tons of cardboard
  • 64.31 tons of paper (2013)
  • 432 tons of compostable material from the dining halls

2015 recycling revenue:

  • Calvin's paper recycling generates $2,112.55 revenue
  • Calvin's scrap iron recycling generates $2,226.68 revenue

Calvin also recycles:

  • Hazardous waste
  • Used oil and antifreeze
  • Organic material from Grounds Department work

Recycling guidelines

This is a list of items that can be recycled at Calvin:


Includes: All office/copy/printer paper, envelopes, newsprint, phone books, glossy/magazine paper, soft-cover books, and bags.
Excludes: Paper towels, shredded paper, napkins, tissues, padded envelopes, hard covers of books and laminated paper.
Note: Staples, paperclips and window envelopes are ok. When recycling books, please remove plastic or metal bindings and hard covers.


Includes: Shoe boxes, paper egg cartons, Tetra Pak (beverage cartons), and other food and product packaging boxes.
Note: Please remove all food items and linings.

Corrugated cardboard

Includes: All boxes with "wavy" middle layer.
Excludes: Pizza boxes.
Note: Please remove all contents and break down the box.

Glass, metal, and plastic

Includes: All food and beverage containers, clean aluminum foil, empty aerosol cans, soap/detergent/shampoo containers, and plastic items #1-7.
Excludes: Styrofoam, window glass, mirrors, porcelain, large plastic items (i.e. pales, barrels), sandwich/bread bags, plastic cutlery, bubble wrap, and sheet plastic.
Note: Please remove all items from containers.


Includes: All electronic items owned by the university and resident students.
Note: If your electronic item is in working condition, consider bringing it to a thrift store or donation site. Please remove and recycle all batteries.


Includes: Clean, white, molded polystyrene.
Excludes: Food cartons/trays, packing peanuts and expanded foam.
Note: Please remove all labels, tape and glue.


Includes: All types of light bulbs.
Note: Please bring to the Facilities or a Building Services worker for proper handling and storage.

Ballasts (for electricians only)

Includes: All types of ballasts.
Note: Please remove excess wire.

Universal waste items

Includes: All items that contain mercury, lead or other hazardous materials.
Note: Please place in a labeled box and bring it to the Facilities for proper handling. Hazardous material should be removed by appropriately trained personnel only. Contact the Environment Health & Safety department for assistance.

Scrap metal

Includes: All metal items that do not qualify as hazardous or universal waste.
Note: Refrigerants, fuels and oils must be removed by the Mechanical Maintenance department.

Construction Debris (Facilities only)

Includes: Items generated by on-campus renovation and repair such as plumbing components, electrical wire, broken concrete and scrap iron.

Compostable material

Includes: Plant material generated by grounds department activity and compostable material from dining halls.
Note: Please bring to the Facilities Grounds department for proper disposal or contact the Grounds department to arrange a pick up.

Additional items that cannot be recycled

Includes: Laminated paper, transparencies, air pillow packaging, and contaminated food and beverage containers.

Staff and specialty

Geoff Van Berkel, Grounds Manager

Matt Byma, Turf & Athletic Specialist

Charles Huizenga, Groundskeeper

Bryan Hulst, Groundskeeper

Henry Kingma, Recycling Coordinator

Scott Machiela, Groundskeeper/Mechanic

Bob SpeelmanSupervisor Landscape Operations 

Ade Ellens, Groundskeeper

Dave PostmaGroundskeeper