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

871 resources

SFU's Zero Waste Initiative

  • Simon Fraser University (BC)

In January 2014, SFU launched its Zero Waste Initiative, with the aim of diverting 70% of waste from landfill, while doubling the amount recycled or composted. This goal was adopted ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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A Campus Move Out Sale: The Journey From Inception to Year Six.

  • Colorado State University (CO)

Six years ago CSU's Housing and Surplus Departments decided to partner and pilot an additional step into the move out process, a sale with proceeds benefiting the Eco Leaders ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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The ReUseIt Room: Shifting the Way the Campus Thinks About Waste

  • Harper College (IL)

As a non-residential community college, Harper College wanted to find a program equivalent to university move out waste reduction programs. Move out waste programs have great potential to save money ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Achieving Campus Waste Goals by Leveraging Diverse Stakeholders on and off Campus

  • University of Massachusetts Lowell (MA)
  • Casella (VT)

UMass Lowell recently underwent a competitive bid process and the university was able to bring a diverse set of stakeholders to the table to ensure we were able to achieve ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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The Zero Waste Challenge: Utilizing Athletic Events to Pave the Way

  • Eastern Washington University (WA)
  • University of Denver (CO)

Zero Waste is not only an attainable goal but it is also an environmental and social responsibility of institutions of higher education. Utilizing studies in Zero Waste operations from two ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Working Together Towards Zero Waste

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

This is a meetup for all students, staff, companies, and professionals that are working on campus Zero Waste efforts. Whether you're helping your campus achieve Zero Waste goals, or ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Campus Energy Savings S.P.A.R.K. a Student-Led Recycling Revolution

  • Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (PA)
  • NORESCO (NC)

Over the past decade, Kutztown University in Pennsylvania has continually worked to retrofit and upgrade campus buildings and services to make them more energy efficient with the help of NORESCO ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Hall Move out, With a Twist.

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

This session will review the University of Arizona's Hall Move-Out project. Project goals are to collect sellable goods from students moving out of residence halls and hold a rummage ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Using Compost to Seek Green Justice Beyond the Campus

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

The University of Arizona Compost Cats is an organization that works to divert organic waste from landfills and converts it into valuable soil amendment for Southern Arizona's arid soils ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Beyond Waste Diversion: Advancing Sustainable Materials Management at Emory

  • Emory University (GA)
  • Cascadia Consulting Group, Inc. (WA)

Emory University's Sustainability Vision calls for aggressive waste minimization, including 95% diversion from landfills by 2025. Further, Emory is committed to the highest and best use of materials, innovation ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Compost and Collaboration: Reaching Zero Waste at UCI in Dining Commons and Residence Halls

  • University of California, Irvine (CA)
  • Aramark Higher Education (PA)

The University of California system and UC Irvine have committed to reaching Zero Waste, or 95% diversion from landfill by 2020. In 2016, UCI reached 83% diversion, the highest rate ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Engaging Partners in Source Reduction

  • Aramark Higher Education (PA)

40% of food produced in the U.S. is lost or wasted each year (FAO, 2014). Through data capture, staff training and guest education, University of California, Irvine (UCI) Hospitality ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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How to Expand a Recycling Program for Future Years

  • University of Nevada Las Vegas (NV)

With a barren desert, no political will to implement policy nor financial incentive to push Nevadans to recycle, recycling in Nevada is virtually nonexistent. Currently, due to low landfill tipping ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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The Drivers Behind Edible Food Recovery Programs at Institutions of Higher Education

  • Messiah College (PA)

Of the blemishes on the American food system, food waste is one of those paradoxical issues that somehow exists in the midst of a well-documented environmental and food security crisis ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Instituting Plastic Wrap Recycling in a University Setting: A Case Study

  • Medical University of South Carolina (SC)

Since its creation in 1995, the MUSC Recycling Department has grown into a massive operation serving the recycling needs of over 14,000 FTE employees in 131 buildings including confidential ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Green Labs at The University of Texas at Austin

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

The Office of Sustainability's Green Labs program at The University of Texas at Austin is a student-led initiative that serves as a resource to help researchers run a more ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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The Lending Library: Addressing Textbook Affordability and Reducing Waste

  • Connecticut College (CT)

As college textbook prices continue to rise, access to the resources needed to succeed in a course has become a social justice issue. The Lending Library, which was started in ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Peruse the Used; Campus Thrift Shop and Move out Program

  • Western Colorado University (CO)

At the beginning of the year students come to campus with carloads of excessive 'must have' college products. These items often have a short lifespan with their student as space ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Sustainable Campus Competition LIVE!: How $50,000 Created a Replicable Model for Citywide Composting

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

At the 2016 AASHE Conference, IUPUI and Butler University were awarded $50,000 as part of the Sustainable Campus Competition LIVE!, a collaboration between AASHE and Kimberly Clark. Because both ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Oscar is grouchy for a reason! Campus recycling behavior research and action

  • Colorado Mountain College (CO)

Presents findings from phase one of a multi-phase study on recycling behavior at Colorado Mountain College. Findings are based on surveys of trash and recycling bin contents completed in spring ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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The Solo Cup Challenge: Waste Less, Raise More

  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte (NC)
  • GreeniPhi (VA)

Trash shouldn't be Greek Life's legacy. It's estimated that sororities and fraternities purchase nearly a billion red plastic cups per academic year. A majority of these cups ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Best Practices for Minimizing Waste on College and University Campuses

  • Johnson County Community College (KS)
  • Texas State University, San Marcos (TX)
  • Staples Business Advantage (MA)

With institutions scoring an average score of 1 point in waste reduction and diversion, there is tremendous room for improvement and institutions across the country are looking for ways to ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Galvanizing Student Power for Intersectional Sustainability Efforts

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

A diversity of perspectives leads to more effective problem-solving. So when we talk about Zero Waste on college campuses, how do we bring different perspectives to the decision-making table? It ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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A Zero Waste Campus is Possible

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

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

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Beyond Diversion - Finding Better Tools to Measure Zero Waste

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

While diversion has been the go-to metric for evaluating waste reduction efforts, it skips over several levels of the waste reduction hierarchy. We end up prioritizing our recycling and composting ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Expanding the Horizons of Campus Recycling: Addressing Expanded Polystyrene Waste at Three Institutions of Higher Education

  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (IL)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (MO)

College and university campuses strive to minimize waste and promote thoughtful disposal practices among campus residents. However, one material that presents unique challenges to sustainably manage is expanded polystyrene (EPS ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Refillable water bottles, reusable bags, and bicycle lights: Is sustainability swag sustainable?

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

When students arrive on your campus, perhaps they find a refillable water bottle in their residence hall room. Or at new student orientation, perhaps they receive a reusable bag with ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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RecycleMania's Race to Zero Waste

  • Brigham Young University (UT)
  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)
  • Aquinas College (MI)

A review of participation and analysis of data from the first full year of RecycleMania's Race to Zero Waste. In it's first year as a formal competition category ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Jumping Through Hoops for Zero-Waste

  • University of Arizona (AZ)
  • University of Denver (CO)

This presentation will guide students in how to work with different levels of administration like Athletics, Facilities, Sodexo, and sports fans. Often as students, it's hard to make connections ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Throwing in the Towel: Lessons Learned from Launching a Paper Towel Compost Program

  • Austin Community College (TX)

Waste diversion is a common thread woven throughout Austin Community College District's sustainability goals. With 11 current campus locations and new facilities added continuously, the footprint of the district ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Food Waste Interventions

  • Georgia Southern University (GA)
  • Portland State University (OR)
  • Sodexo USA (MD)

Information will be shared about Portland State's No Scraps Left Behind (NSLB) program at the PSU Dining Hall, the residential compost program, donations to PSU's food pantry, & ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Surplus Assets Deserve to be Reused, Not Discarded

  • Colorado State University (CO)
  • Western Kentucky University (KY)
  • IRN - The Recycling Network (NH)

Every school generates surplus assets, every day. Computers, dorm and classroom furniture, supplies, desks and chairs, bookcases and storage shelves. The list is endless. Sadly, even though they have years ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Comparing Move Out Programs: Sharing Perspectives on Waste Diversion, Campus & Community Collaboration, & Sustainability Goals.

  • Colorado State University (CO)
  • University of Iowa (IA)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)
  • Wilfrid Laurier University (ON)

Be part of an interactive discussion where 4 universities share their move out program from the perspectives of Housing, Sustainability, Facilities & Surplus & learn ways to advance sustainability, reuse ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Best Practices for Supporting Campus Food Security

  • Arizona State University (AZ)
  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale (IL)
  • University of Utah (UT)

Hunger is present on college campuses across the United States. As literature increases, awareness surrounding challenges in supporting severely food insecure college students has become more apparent, as well. This ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Oregon State U Reusable Food To Go Containers

  • Oregon State University (OR)

Oregon State University has fully transitioned to reusable to go containers, saving over 400,000 disposable containers per year from the landfill.


Oregon State U Reusable Food To Go Containers

  • Oregon State University (OR)

Oregon State University has fully transitioned to reusable to go containers, saving over 400,000 disposable containers per year from the landfill.


UVM Eco-Reps educate peers about composting

  • University of Vermont (VT)

All University of Vermont undergraduates now take at least one sustainability course, and 20 Eco-Reps extend that educational experience by teaching their peers sustainable behaviors as part of daily life ...


Full Circle Composting

  • Central Michigan University (MI)

Southern Illinois University water bottle fill stations

  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale (IL)

With support from the campus green fund, Southern Illinois University Carbondale recently installed 27 water bottle fill stations in various buildings around campus in efforts to reduce consumption of single-use ...


Closed Loop Composting at Central Michigan University

  • Central Michigan University (MI)

Through its commitment to utilizing organic waste as a valuable resource, Central Michigan University engages in a full-circle, closed system composting program that also promotes economic prosperity. Material from compost ...


Stanford 2017 Lab Swap Meet

  • Stanford University (CA)

Stanford hosts a biannual lab swap meet that invites lab users to donate items no longer needed for their own research and find items of use donated by others.


NAU - Sustainable Campus Index - Bookstore Bag Pictures

  • Northern Arizona University (AZ)

Northern Arizona University’s Bookstore (operated by Follett) is the latest concessionaire to stop handing out plastic bags for retail operations, opting instead for a more environmentally friendly paper bag ...


Sustainability Scholar 2016 - University of Alberta

  • University of Alberta (AB)

The Sustainability Scholars program provides University of Alberta graduate students opportunities to work on applied research projects with the City of Edmonton, campus units and other institutions. Successful projects provide ...


Campus and Community Involvement in Move-Out Programs

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)
  • Wilfrid Laurier University (ON)
  • AASHE (PA)

Classes end and our students vacate the rooms in their residence halls, cleaning up so that other students may become the new occupants. In the process, students discard lots of ...

  • Posted Sept. 22, 2017
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Going Green and Using Less Paper to Print Exams: Student Performance, Completion Time, and Preference

  • Providence College (RI)

Two studies measured the impact on student exam performance and exam completion time of strategies aimed to reduce the amount of paper used for printing multiple-choice course exams. Study 1 ...

  • Posted Sept. 20, 2017
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Solid waste characterization and recycling potential for a university campus

Integrated waste management systems are one of the greatest challenges for sustainable development. For these systems to be successful, the first step is to carry out waste characterization studies. In ...

  • Posted Sept. 20, 2017
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Greening academia: Use and disposal of mobile phones among university students

  • University of Southampton

Mobile phones have relatively short lifecycles and are rapidly seen as obsolete by many users within little over a year. However, the reusability of these devices as well as their ...

  • Posted Sept. 20, 2017
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University community responses to on-campus resource recycling

  • Massey University

In order to gain a better understanding of the attitudes and behaviour of a campus community toward a university concourse-based recycling scheme, a survey of 1400 students and staff, at ...

  • Posted Sept. 5, 2017
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Community responses to the removal of bottled water on a university campus

Purpose

This paper aimed to examine the impact of the removal of bottled water on the campus community. This paper presents the findings of a survey conducted at the first ...

  • Posted Aug. 28, 2017
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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

  • 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 ...

  • Posted Aug. 18, 2017
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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.

Veritiv

Sandy Springs, GA
Business Supporter

Busch Systems

Barrie, ON
Business Affiliate

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.

Eagle Protect PBC

South Lake Tahoe, CA
Business Affiliate
Eagle Protect helps reduce waste with high-quality disposable gloves and clothing products.

Foam Cycle LLC

Augusta, NJ
Business Affiliate
Foam Cycle is the first patent-pending foam (aka Styrofoam) collection, densifying and recycling system. Our goal is to assist your school in its sustainability goals or to start a Circular Economy Recycling program.

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.

Post-Landfill Action Network

Dover, NH
Business Affiliate
The Post-Landfill Action Network cultivates, educates, and inspires the student-led zero waste movement. We inform students about the waste crisis and equip them with the necessary skills and resources to implement solutions to waste on their campus.

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.

Textbooks for Change

Toronto, ON
Business Affiliate
Textbooks for Change sustainably provides educational material to those both locally and abroad.

The Campus Kitchens Project

Washington, DC
Business Affiliate
Empowering students to create innovative and sustainable solutions to food waste and hunger.