Waste

Introduction

Waste reduction mitigates the need to extract virgin materials from the earth, such as trees and metals. Reducing the generation of waste reduces the flow of waste to incinerators and landfills which produce greenhouse gas emissions, can contaminate air and groundwater supplies, and tend to have disproportionate negative impacts on low-income communities. Source reduction and waste diversion also save institutions costly landfill and hauling service fees. In addition, waste reduction campaigns can engage the entire campus community in contributing to a tangible sustainability goal.

Featured Resources

950 resources

Zero waste policy evaluation of college campus. A case study of University of Florida

  • University of Florida (FL)

Waste generation and disposal of that waste is as big of an issue as climate change. Different factors come into play in developed and developing world. In developing countries litter ...

  • Posted Sept. 23, 2021
  • Case Studies
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Grand Valley State University Surplus Store

  • Grand Valley State University (MI)

Artwork on the window of the GVSU Surplus Store


Water Bottle Refill Station, McGill, Downtown Campus

  • McGill University (QC)

As part of the 2019 Refill McGill campaign, the sale of water bottles was banned on campus. During the course of the campaign, over 30 water fountains were installed or ...


Sterling College Break Free from Plastic Pledge

  • Sterling College (VT) (VT)

Sterling College proudly displays their signed #BreakFreeFromPlastic Campus pledge, which guides colleges and universities towards single-use plastic elimination and waste elimination. Sterling College, a federally designated Work College in Vermont ...


1st Phase Zero Waste Movement at UM6P

  • Mohammed VI Polytechnic University

The Sustainable Development Ambassadors of Chemical & Biochemical Sciences and Green Process Engineering Program have volunteered to sell reusable mugs to their peers during the launch of Zero Waste Movement ...


Managed Print Program at American University

  • American University (DC)

SCI 2021 Feature: Ditching Desktop Printers

A campus-wide Managed Print Program at American University is streamlining the print process and reducing costs associated with energy usage and waste. Since this ...


University of Pittsburgh Textile Recycling

  • University of Pittsburgh (PA)

Given that clothing and textiles make up approximately 6.3% of the U.S. waste stream, University of Pittsburgh established a textile recycling program to help keep textiles in the ...


Pay As You Throw at Yale University

  • Yale University (CT)

In Spring 2019, Yale University launched a Pay As You Throw (PAYT) pilot program. PAYT is a materials management model where campus entities are charged for the amount of trash ...


Food Choice and Waste in University Dining Commons—A Menus of Change University Research Collaborative Study

  • Lebanon Valley College (PA)
  • Rice University (TX)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)
  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)
  • University of California, Davis (CA)

The purpose of this multi-campus research was to investigate the relationships of food type and personal factors with food choice, consumption, and waste behaviors of college students at all-you-care-to-eat dining ...


Zero-Waste Planning at Higher Education Institutions: A Case Study of Western Kentucky University

  • Western Kentucky University (KY)

Over the past two decades, the number of universities that pursue zero-waste strategies has steadily increased. However, more study is required on several interrelated factors, policy barriers, and infrastructural fundamentals ...


CALPIRG Students Break Free From Plastics campaign

  • California Student Public Interest Research Group (CA)

The CALPIRG Students Break Free From Plastics campaign aimed to address the problem of plastic pollution at the source by phasing out single-use plastic items both at our university campuses ...


The People’s Fridge- A Community Fridge to Reduce Food Insecurity and Food Waste

  • University of California, Merced (CA)

The People’s Fridge is a community fridge in Merced, California at a local community garden which also holds a free food distribution every Saturday called the Pop-Up People’s ...


Glass Recycling at a Rural Georgia College Campus

  • Georgia College & State University (GA)

Glass has quickly become a hard to recycle material in many places in the U.S. and around the world. This is especially true for geographically rural areas with an ...


Glass Recycling at a Rural Georgia College Campus

  • Georgia College & State University (GA)

Glass has quickly become a hard to recycle material in many places in the U.S. and around the world. This is especially true for geographically rural areas with an ...


Durham Tech Break Free From Plastics

  • Durham Technical Community College (NC)
  • The Student PIRGs (OR)

Student leaders at Durham Tech Community College, worked with the Student PIRGs in NC to run and win a campus campaign to Break Free From Plastics in order to protect ...


Project Reach, Reclaim, Revive

  • Seneca College (ON)

Guided by academic advisors and business experts, student leaders of Enactus Canada create and implement community empowerment projects and business ventures in their communities. This experiential learning platform helps students ...


Examination of US University Sustainability and Recovery Activities

  • Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) (MI)

Resource Recycling Systems conducted research on the U.S. university and college landscape to enable a better understanding of the level of campus sustainability and recovery practices and to provide ...


Safety and Sustainability: Reusable Dining during COVID-19

  • Northwestern University (IL)
  • Oregon State University (OR)

As part of the College and University Recycling Coalition 2021 Webinar Series, Northwestern University and Oregon State University developed and presented programs for reusable dining methods during the pandemic. The ...

  • Posted May 4, 2021
  • Videos & Webinars
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How to Make Your Lab Sustainable

  • University College London (London)

If you work in a laboratory setting, this video is for you! Made by a chemistry professor at UCL, one of the biggest research universities in the UK, this video ...

  • Posted April 30, 2021
  • Videos & Webinars
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SUNY Broome Virtual Earth Fest

  • Broome Community College (NY)

Equity: The Greatest Opportunity for the Sustainability & Climate Movements?

http://earthdaysoutherntier.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Earth-Fest-2021-Events-Flyer.pdf

SUNY Broome Earth Fest Lecture – Saturday, April 24th Schedule of Events ...

  • Posted April 30, 2021
  • Photographs
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Bowie State University Stream Clean Up: Two distinct generations come together to help Mother Earth

  • Bowie State University (MD)

Through a partnership with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Bowie State University invited nearby Collington Retirement Community to join together for an Earth Day stream clean up event in ...

  • Posted April 30, 2021
  • Photographs
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University of Oregon 2020 Materials Report

  • University of Oregon (OR)

The UO Materials Tracking Report covers all material solid waste and recovery categories for the institution. This report applies 27 years of reports to generate a timescale graphs for all ...

  • Posted April 29, 2021
  • Publications
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Webinar: Cleaning for Health: Using Natural Aqueous Ozone as an Alternative to Traditional Cleaning Chemicals

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)
  • AASHE (PA)

Please join us for this informative, lively discussion on the benefits of using natural aqueous ozone to clean higher education facilities instead of traditional chemical-based cleaners. Three highly knowledgable presenters ...

  • Posted April 29, 2021
  • Videos & Webinars
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ISU Dining Compost Giveaway

  • Iowa State University (IA)

ISU Dining handed out pots, seeds, and compost to students. The compost was from our campus compost facility, which takes in food waste from our dining centers. ISU Dining contributes ...

  • Posted April 23, 2021
  • Photographs
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Waste Separation Behaviour of College Students under a Mandatory Policy in China: A Case Study of Zhengzhou City

  • University of Surrey
  • Henan Agricultural University (Henan)

The need for effective solid waste management (SWM) is an important environmental and public health issue. As a key way of minimizing municipal solid waste (MSW), source separation has in ...

  • Posted April 22, 2021
  • Publications
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Behavioral Strategies To Ditch Desktop Printers

  • AASHE (PA)
  • Root Solutions (CA)

Replacing individual desktop printers with shared ‘multi-function’ printers (MFPs) is one of the most impactful ways campuses can reduce paper use. It also generates a suite of other benefits, including ...

  • Posted March 26, 2021
  • Videos & Webinars
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SUNY New Paltz Pivots from Plastic Bottles to Aluminum Cans to Move Beyond Plastics

  • State University of New York at New Paltz (NY)

In the fall of 2020, Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS), which contracts on behalf of SUNY New Paltz for beverages to be distributed through vending machines and the dining services contractor ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2021
  • Case Studies
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Characterization of solid wastes as a tool to implement waste management strategies in a university campus

  • University of Brasilia

Purpose Universities are an example of institutions that aggregate people around work/study who consume water, energy and produce waste daily in their activities, generating an impact on the environment ...


20% Discount on Preserve Products for AASHE Members

  • Preserve (MA)

AASHE members can receive a 20 percent discount on Preserve products through the online store. Preserve products range from food storage to tableware and personal care all made from 100 ...


10% Discount on PRESERVE® 2 Go - Reusable To-Go Containers for AASHE Members

  • Preserve (MA)

AASHE members can receive a 10 percent discount on Preserve 2 Go reusable to-go containers. P2Go durable and reusable clamshell containers are made in the USA with more than 50 ...


Wasted Food Solutions: University of Rhode Island Spotlight

  • University of Rhode Island (RI)
  • Center for EcoTechnology (MA)

With approximately 17,000 students and 3,800 faculty and staff, meal planning across the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) two dining halls, four cafés, and retail dining outlet ...

  • Posted Jan. 12, 2021
  • Outreach Materials
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Desktop Printer Removal and the Transition to Managed Multi-Function Printers: Benefits and Case Studies

  • Root Solutions (CA)

This document was designed to introduce higher ed staff to the topic of printer consolidation, with an emphasis on the many sustainability and other benefits (especially cost savings) of replacing ...

  • Posted Dec. 29, 2020
  • Publications
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Piloting Styrofoam Recycling in Research Facilities at Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Georgia Institute of Technology (GA)

Georgia Tech has systems in place to collect and recycle everything from cardboard and office paper, to plastic and glass. But until 2019, there was no established process for recycling ...


Fall 2020 Virtual DIY Fair

  • San Diego State University (CA)

With students being stuck at home due to COVID, I thought that a smart idea to keep students engaged in sustainability would be to have a week-long virtual DIY fair ...


Reusable to-go Program at Northwestern Dining During a Global Pandemic

  • Northwestern University (IL)
  • Chartwells Higher Education (NY)
  • Compass Group (NC)

Northwestern University opened its dining commons during the COVID-19 pandemic in the fall of 2020 with an emphasis on reusable to-go service ware. This program used the O2GO OZZI containers ...


Lafayette College Sustainable Food Loop

  • Lafayette College (PA)

LaFarm is a sustainability initiative at the College and the cornerstone of the Lafayette College Sustainable Food Loop.

Our mission is to integrate curriculum and practice in sustainable food and ...


Loyola Marymount University Sustainability Students for Water Refill Challenge

  • Loyola Marymount University (CA)

Fill it Forward Reusable water Bottle challenge co-hosted over 20 events creating $400,000 in value, reached 50,000 people, activated 7,000 people to forgo single use plastic water ...


IUPUI and Butler Collaborate to Launch Commercial Food Compost Program in Indianapolis

  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) (IN)

IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) has an ongoing partnership with Butler University to employ a large waste hauler for food waste compost collection. Both universities leveraged their respective networks to ...


Santa Clara University Waste Characterization with Campus Residents

  • Santa Clara University (CA)

Center for Sustainability interns Nate Redinbo ('20), Ali Deambrosio ('20), and Amanda Eason ('20) teamed up with Dunne Hall residents for a Waste Characterization event. These events involve gathering waste ...


Santa Clara University - Gathering Fruit with the Glean Team

  • Santa Clara University (CA)

SCU's Glean Team is a volunteer-based group that gathers fruit from the hundreds of fruit-bearing trees on campus and surrounding area. Harvested fruit is donated to on-campus food pantries ...


Cal State East Bay Embraces System-wide Single-use Plastics Policy

  • California State University, East Bay (CA)

The California State University system passed a new system-wide policy in 2019 that applies to all 23 CSU campuses in banning the institutional purchase of all single-use plastics. Plastic straws ...


Humber College - Anthropocene Art Installation

  • Humber College (ON)

Sustainability and art collide at Humber's North Campus

Humberthropocene (a play on the term "Anthropocene") is a mural assemblage led by Toronto-based environmental artist Anya Mielniczek and co-created by ...


Nova Scotia Community College - Overall Top Performer, Associate Institutions

  • Nova Scotia Community College (NS)

Photo of student cycling by green wall at NSCC Ivany Campus; Monica Foster (VP College Services and CFO), Martha MacGowan (Sustainability Technologist), and Amel Muskic (Facilities Support Assistant) completing a ...


Aquinas College Photos for 2020 SCI

  • Aquinas College (MI)

Pictures for Aquinas' recognition in the waste category of the 2020 SCI.


San Jose State University - System-wide single-use plastics policy

  • San Jose State University (CA)

2020 SCI. System-wide single-use plastics policy highlight picture.


COVID-19 and Sustainability Resources

  • Princeton University (NJ)

The Office of Sustainability has compiled this list of resources to support Princeton University students, faculty and staff as they navigate challenges related to sustainability and COVID-19 at this moment ...

  • Posted Sept. 11, 2020
  • Publications
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Webinar: Managing Surplus Property for Zero Waste

  • College & University Recycling Coalition (DC)

CURC learned in a 2019 survey that managing surplus property was a key interest of members to learn about. What strategies for managing surplus property work on different campuses, public ...

  • Posted Sept. 11, 2020
  • Videos & Webinars
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Reaching Your Collaborators: Communicating for Connection & Education

  • College & University Recycling Coalition (DC)

Welcome to the CURC 2020 Webinar Series!

Trying to implement a campus-wide waste initiative with limited time, influence and staff is a barrier we've all faced. How do we ...

  • Posted Aug. 4, 2020
  • Videos & Webinars
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On-Campus Composting: How to Start, Evolve, and Overcome Challenges

  • AASHE (PA)
  • Princeton University (NJ)
  • St. John's University, New York (NY)
  • Western Michigan University (MI)
  • Fort Lewis College (CO)
  • Colorado State University (CO)

Is your campus considering starting an on-site composting program, but doesn’t know where to start or which system to choose? Or does your campus want to grow its program ...

  • Posted July 16, 2020
  • Videos & Webinars
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UVM’s Roadmap to Zero Waste: Effective Strategies for Enhancing Zero Waste Management Goals at the University of Vermont

  • University of Vermont (VT)

This senior thesis seeks to provide effective strategies for enhancing Zero Waste management goals at the University of Vermont by incorporating the needs of campus stakeholders. As the global garbage ...

  • Posted July 10, 2020
  • Publications
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This tab provides access to data collected through AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS). STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS enables meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community. Additional content and advanced benchmarking tools will be added to this tab over time.

Programs and Initiatives

The following links connect to specific Content Displays on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Scores

The following link connects to the Score Display on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Waste Partners