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

475 resources

Key Facilities Metrics Survey and Report Membership Required

  • Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers (APPA) (VA)
  • National Association of College & University Business Officers (DC)

The Key Facilities Metrics Survey is a brief annual survey designed to encourage attention to a small number of key facilities metrics: total energy consumption per square foot, electricity consumption ...


Impact on Plate Waste of Switching from a Tray to a Trayless Delivery System in a University Dining Hall and Employee Response to the Switch Membership Required

  • Indiana University Bloomington (IN)

A potential strategy for decreasing food waste in foodservice operations is trayless dining. The objective of this 2010 study was to compare the impact of using a tray vs a ...

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Written Messages Improve Edible Food Waste Behaviors in a University Dining Facility Membership Required

  • Kansas State University (KS)

Background

Sustainability and going green have become popular trends among foodservice organizations. Despite this interest, foodservice operations still produce large amounts of edible food waste and contribute significantly to waste ...

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Garnering input for recycling communication strategies at a Big Ten University Membership Required

  • Michigan State University (MI)

With increasing environmental challenges confronting our planet, colleges and universities are trying different approaches for minimizing their adverse environmental impacts. Among the approaches being used to revitalize campus sustainability efforts ...

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Teaching with trash: archaeological insights on university waste management Membership Required

  • University of Idaho (ID)

The archaeological study of modern trash on an American university campus can yield valuable insight into how both human and environmental processes contribute to the accumulation and distribution of litter ...

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Implementation of a zero waste program at a university campus Membership Required

  • Massey University

A zero waste program was established at a university campus in response to grassroots student concern over environmental management issues. The implementation procedure consisted of initial discussions with academic and ...

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Reducing solid waste in higher education: The first step towards ‘greening’ a university campus Membership Required

  • University of Northern British Columbia (BC)

Comprehensive solid waste management programs are one of the greatest challenges to achieving campus sustainability. Conducting a waste characterization study is a critical first step in successful waste management planning ...

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An Economic Analysis of a University Educational Cafeteria Composting Program—Bobcat Blend Membership Required

  • Texas State University, San Marcos (TX)

At Texas State University, a cafeteria-composting pilot program was established in which students source-separated their organic waste at one of the food courts while the program educated students on the ...

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Expanding Your Move Out Program Membership Required

  • Pitzer College (CA)
  • Pomona College (CA)
  • University of South Carolina (SC)
  • Post Landfill Action Network (NH)

Campuses across the country are starting to develop robust move-out collection projects of various types. Some hold a yard sale for the local community in the summer, or for students ...

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Thrift Stores, FreeStores, and Reuse Spaces Membership Required

  • Coastal Carolina University (SC)
  • Portland State University (OR)
  • University of Pittsburgh (PA)

This panel will discuss the outcomes from Thrift Stores, Free Stores and Reuse Spaces across different campuses. Hear how these second-hand experiences have become a model for showcasing the three ...

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WTF Reduction! Waste, Technology and Facebook; Utilizing Social Media, Technology and Outreach to Effect Behavioral Change Membership Required

  • State University of New York at Oswego (NY)
  • University of North Carolina, Asheville (NC)
  • University of Virginia (VA)
  • Cupanion (ON)

This panel will discuss the use of social media and technology and how it can be applied it to various re-use and waste reduction programs. Partnered with Cupanion, these three ...

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The University of Thriftsburgh: We Work With More Than Just Ugly Sweaters Membership Required

  • University of Pittsburgh (PA)

The University of Thriftsburgh, a non-profit, student-run thrift store, opened on the University of Pittsburgh's campus on March 18, 2015. The store was the result of year and a ...

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Creative Composting: a Comprehensive Approach to Food Waste Reduction Membership Required

  • Green Mountain College (VT)

Though composting is a great step away from creating landfill waste, it is still very low on the EPA's food waste hierarchy. This study presents how a group of ...

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TailGator: Game Day Recycling at the University of Florida Membership Required

  • University of Florida (FL)

For the last ten seasons the TailGator Game Day Recycling Program, the longest running program of the University of Florida's Office of Sustainability, has educated fans on properly sorting ...

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Making Student Events Greener, One Pizza Box at a Time Membership Required

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

From pizza boxes to plastic cups, a lot can go to waste during student events. What if there was a way to keep that waste out of the landfill while ...

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Zero Waste: Data, Infrastructure, and Engagement Return Recycling Case Study Membership Required

  • New York University (NY)
  • Return Recycling (NY)

Return Recycling is a student-led organization devoted to building a concrete understanding for waste data, infrastructure, and engagement. Over the past year we've prototyped new (self-designed) recycling bins, developed ...

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The Campus Kitchens Project: Using Food as a Tool for a More Sustainable Campus and Community. Membership Required

  • The Campus Kitchens Project (DC)

Attendees will get an in depth look at The Campus Kitchens Project (CKP) and will be empowered to bring the program to their school. CKP students on 50 campuses are ...

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A Zero Waste Campus is Possible Membership Required

  • Post Landfill Action Network (NH)

We begin by asking students to envision a zero waste campus through innovative problem solving & logistics management. In small groups, they map out how to prevent specific forms of ...

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Fighting Waste, Feeding People: Student Solutions for the Long Term Membership Required

  • Food Recovery Network (MD)

Forty percent of all food produced in America is wasted, while one in six Americans is unsure where his or her next meal will come from. If food waste were ...

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US EPA - NEW Organics Recovery Program Development Toolkit Membership Required

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (DC)
  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)

US EPA Region 4 will unveil the working draft of its Organics Recovery Program Development Toolkit developed specifically for colleges and universities. The toolkit is intended to guide campuses looking ...

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College & University Recycling Coalition Members Meeting Membership Required

  • University of South Carolina (SC)

Members and non-members alike are invited to join this annual CURC membership meeting. Board members will provide organizational updates, discuss current projects and share opportunities to get involved. The meeting ...

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The Purdue Recycling Project (PuRe): Developing a Scientific Approach to Study Recycling Signage Membership Required

  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)
  • Purdue University (IN)

The Purdue Recycling Project (PuRe), funded by Keep America Beautiful, has three major goals: 1) The first goal is to test recycling behaviors in a controlled lab study in which ...

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Working with supply chain partners to achieve zero waste goals Membership Required

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

Many campuses are attempting to achieve zero waste goals, but are not able to overcome key challenges. Penn State has achieved zero waste in several sports venues by partnering with ...

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Piloting RecycleMania's 'Race to Zero Waste' competition: How to implement zero waste practices building by building Membership Required

  • Brigham Young University (UT)
  • Harvard University (MA)
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas (NV)
  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)

This session will report on efforts to reduce waste in specific buildings on several campuses providing focused insight on the challenges and opportunities for waste reduction on college campuses. In ...

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There's an App for That - CommUniverCity San José's Partnership for Combatting Illegal Dumping Membership Required

  • San Jose State University (CA)
  • City of San Jose (CA)
  • CommUniverCity San José (CA)

The City of San José, California has experienced an increase in both the frequency and volume of illegal dumping. Since 2012, incidences of illegal dumping on public property have increased ...

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Optimizing Effluent Water Quality in Water Reclamation and Reuse Membership Required

  • Emory University (GA)
  • Sustainable Water, LLC (VA)

Managing water-related challenges through water reclamation and reuse is vital to all bulk water consumers. Decentralized water reclamation and reuse decreases the demand for potable water supplies, provides increased resiliency ...

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Collaborative Initiatives that Work Membership Required

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

Inspiring and empowering sustainability engagement and practices on our campuses is one of Arizona State University's primary goals and creating a culture of collaboration has served as a key ...

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Laboratory Recycling and Beyond Membership Required

  • Medical University of South Carolina (SC)

An often avoided realm in recycling efforts, research laboratories generate large amounts of recyclable materials that end up as land-filled waste. In this session we will describe MUSC's Lab ...

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Learn how to Launch a University Surplus Program and Start Making Real Money for Sustainability While Reducing Your Waste Membership Required

  • Drexel University (PA)
  • Temple University (PA)

Universities invest in equipment and facilities to stay competitive. While these acquisitions are needed, much of the 'obsolete' equipment offers value to a secondary market. Nationally, universities are extracting value ...

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Change Makers: Innovative waste reduction campaigns and beyond Membership Required

  • Johnson County Community College (KS)
  • Lane Community College (OR)
  • Portland Community College (OR)

This interactive and action-oriented panel will look at 3 different waste reduction behavior change programs in community colleges. The panelists will address some of the specific challenges they face with ...

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PeopleTowels - Engaging Students in Reducing Single Use Paper Towels Membership Required

  • New Mexico State University (NM)
  • Principia College (IL)
  • University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (WI)
  • PeopleTowels, LLC (NY)

Despite numerous campus sustainability initiatives, paper towel waste still comprises 30-40% of most campus waste streams. This session will reveal the results of a paper towel alternative case study and ...

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Towards Zero Waste in the California State University East Bay Dining Commons Membership Required

  • California State University, East Bay (CA)

The California State University East Bay (CSUEB) Dining Commons (DC) has committed to becoming a Zero Waste facility. To support this effort, and Governor Brown's AB 1826 (the state ...

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Fair Trade Recycling Operations Membership Required

  • Post Landfill Action Network (NH)

While the Responsible Recycling (R2) standard has been criticized for its flexibility regarding exportation, our team has been able to connect with R2 certified operations that exemplify how the exportation ...

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How Resource Innovation and Solutions Pioneered on the ASU Campus is Growing a Worldwide Network Membership Required

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

This is the story of how Arizona State University, through a systems approach to public engagement and a unique collaboration with the city of Phoenix, created the Resource Innovation and ...

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A New Way to Turn Trash Into Cash - The University of San Diego Electronics Recycling Center Membership Required

  • University of San Diego (CA)

The University of San Diego Electronics Recycling Center (USD ERC) will present updates on successes and challenges in the 5+ years of operating a sustainable business enterprise. This highly transferable ...

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Green Meets Brown: University of Louisville Eco-Reps and Community Composting Membership Required

  • University of Louisville (KY)

The University of Louisville Eco-Reps are a sustainability training & networking group offering certifications, hosting monthly lunches, local speakers, & field trips, and organizing volunteer projects. Our longest-running project was ...

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Tackling the PAC-12: a Zero Waste Challenge Membership Required

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

Here at the University of Arizona, there is a strong fan base towards the athletic events, from our large-scale football games to our famous and impressive basketball games. The amount ...

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The Prize of Collaboration is Resilience. Universities Lead on Inter-Organizational Reuse of Surplus Assets and Equipment. Membership Required

  • GetWarpIt

This presentation explores a UK case study where Universities are leading on the sharing of surplus assets and collaborating with other Universities, Municipal Councils, Hospitals, schools and not-for-profits. This is ...

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Charting the Path to Zero Waste at a Liberal Arts University: A Student Led Model Membership Required

  • Furman University (SC)

The generation and management of waste on college campuses have presented challenges to pursuing institutional sustainability. This case study looks at the use of undergraduate students in the visioning, data ...

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Plastic-Free Campuses Membership Required

  • Post Landfill Action Network (NH)

From bottles and bags to polypropylene microbeads, we discuss tangible alternatives to single-use disposable plastics on a college or university campus. We use campus-specific programs to highlight success stories of ...

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Savings by Design: Implementing a Reusable To-Go Program with savings in mind. Membership Required

  • Virginia Tech (VA)

Virginia Tech Dining Services has implemented a robust Reusable To-Go container program with the help of partner campus organizations. The program is available at three dining centers and averages 3 ...

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Beyond Excuses: Banning Bottled Water on Your Campus Membership Required

  • Eastern Washington University (WA)
  • University of Puget Sound (WA)

Over 100 North American universities have enacted policies banning bottled water and promoting tap water as a more preferable choice. This workshop will outline the steps of banning bottled water ...

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Zero Waste Restroom Hand Towel Pilot: Kimberly Clark and Purdue University Partner in Mackey Arena Membership Required

  • Purdue University (IN)
  • Kimberly-Clark Professional (GA)

Kimberly-Clark Professional and Purdue University partnered to develop and implement a zero waste restroom paper hand towel compost pilot in Purdue's Mackey Arena (seats 14,846) for the 2015-16 ...

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Small Scale Biogas for Energy Sustainability and Education Membership Required

  • Dickinson College (PA)

This presentation will describe the science and practical logistics of running a small scale biogas system on campus. Biogas (also known as biomethane) is a climate-friendly, renewable alternative to natural ...

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Exploring LEED-EB: O+M for A Smarter, Healthier and More Efficient Campus: Lessons Learned at Portland State University Membership Required

  • Portland State University (OR)
  • Green Building Services (OR)

Portland State University is working on multiple fronts to institutionalize sustainable operations and support the campus goal of carbon neutrality by 2040. In 2015, PSU became a founding signatory of ...

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Collaboration is the Path to Sustainability Membership Required

  • CleanRiver Recycling Solutions (ON)

Through the use of case studies and examples from real life site-tours, Bruce Buchan will identify the key challenges Higher Education facilities face when implementing recycling programs, and the critical ...

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The secret life of one 'ice cube' and it's wasteful journey to your cup at the ballgame Membership Required

  • Eden's Song, LLC (GA)

Environmental efforts permeate every aspect of campus life. So it may surprise some to know that in one crucial area of vigorous waste efforts, a nasty little culprit has just ...

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Zero-Waste Initiative: Paving the Way Membership Required

  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln (NE)

As an institution with over 25,000 students, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln produces an overwhelming amount of waste. Although UNL currently has a waste diversion rate of about 50 percent ...

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Compost Cats in the K-12 Classroom: Building a Zero Waste Culture from the Ground Up Membership Required

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

The Compost Cats program at the University of Arizona has diverted 10.5 million pounds of material from local landfills. While turning garbage into gardens is important, changing the culture ...

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Carbon and the Compost Cats: Evaluation of Carbon Offset Impacts for a University Affiliated Compost Program Membership Required

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

The University of Arizona Compost Cats program has performed a life cycle assessment (LCA) greenhouse gas emissions analysis to quantify the benefits of composting waste from campus and local participating ...

  • Posted 2 months ago
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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

Pharos Systems International

Rochester, NY
Business Leader
A certified B Corp, Pharos helps universities reveal wasteful habits and hidden costs making campus printing less expensive, more mindful, and more sustainable.

CleanRiver Recycling Solutions

Aurora, ON
Business Affiliate
We design and manufacture containers to specifically suit your needs and then help you implement facility-wide programs that achieve your waste diversion goals and generate recycling program ROI.

Landmark Studio & Design

Muskego, WI
Business Affiliate

LRP Recycling

Framingham, MA
Business Affiliate

Max-R

Sussex, WI
Business Affiliate
Max-R is the innovator of the customized waste and recycling bin.

RRS

Ann Arbor, MI
Business Affiliate
RRS is a sustainability and recycling consulting firm that possess core strengths in recovery, organics and collaborative action development serving both public and private sectors.

The Campus Kitchens Project

Washington, DC
Non-profit/NGO Affiliate
Empowering students to create innovative and sustainable solutions to food waste and hunger.