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

596 resources

Corrugated Pallets: How Campus Procurement Policies Can Drive National Change to Reduce Emissions, Advance Zero Waste, and Protect Employees

  • Change the Pallet (OR)

Change the Pallet is a national non-profit dedicated to reducing carbon emissions massively through education and advocacy with respect to the tremendous environmental benefits of corrugated paper pallets vs. traditional ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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16 Billion Trees Fell Last Year, Is Anyone Listening?

  • TreeZero Paper (GA)

Poster will detail impacts and risks of deforestation; opportunities for reducing paper use and example of easy solution to add to your sustainability efforts to reduce impact on deforestation, climate ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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What Paper Manufacturers Know About Environmental Impact that Customers Aren't Asking About

  • Kimberly-Clark Professional (GA)

In this session we will examine some key environmental considerations that are often overlooked during procurement decisions. Specifically, we will focus on the manufacturing and waste footprint created by consumable ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Fix It Friday

  • Illinois State University (IL)

Fix It Friday is a program at Illinois State University in which students majoring in the Fashion Design and Merchandising program set up sewing machines in various locations around campus ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Consumer Recycling Attitudes and Behaviors

  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)

Keep America Beautiful conducted a nationwide survey in October 2016 to study people's recycling attitudes and behaviors. The goal of the project was to better understand how to overcome ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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CURC Campus Recycling & Materials Management Survey

  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)

The College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC) is conducting a national survey to document recycling and sustainable materials management (SMM) trends and practices at North American colleges and universities. The ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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CURC Campus Recycling Workshop

  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)

Join recycling and sustainability colleagues from campuses across the US and Canada for the annual CURC Workshop. This year's workshop will be hosted by the University of the Incarnate ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC) Membership Meeting

  • 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 ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Diversion Drama: A Waste Study in Residence Halls

  • Skidmore College (NY)

This spring the Skidmore Sustainability Office launched a waste study for four residence halls, which house a fourth of the on-campus student population. Preliminary waste assessments indicated that 50-60% of ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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RightCycle: Comprehensive Recycling System at Arizona State University

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

Although many products are potentially eligible for recycling, a countless number of recyclable products is being thrown away in trash bins in which ends up in landfills. There are abundant ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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The Beginnings of Zero Waste - Approaches and challenges to new waste diversion campaigns and initiatives.

  • Harvey Mudd College (CA)

While zero waste and broader waste reduction initiatives are common in institutions of higher education, there are substantial challenges to launching those initiatives. As many sustainability professionals can attest, timing ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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A Year of Devotion, Thought and Photographs: A Recycling Blog

  • Brigham Young University (UT)

This poster seeks to engage attendees in the whys of recycling, the motivations behind sustainability efforts, and the internal and external results of a devotion to stewardship. Utilizing posts on ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Let's Talk Trash and Recycling: How to Build a Comprehensive View of Campus Waste Management and Diversion Efforts

  • Lehigh University (PA)

Developing a comprehensive waste management plan, policy, and data tracking system can be a daunting, yet rewarding task for an institution. These materials not only provide information on existing campus ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Implementation of Pre-Consumer Composting in University Student Union: Obstacles and Lessons learned

  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln (NE)

As an institution with over 25,000 students, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) produces an overwhelming amount of waste. UNL has successfully achieved a campus-wide diversion rate of nearly 50 ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Infrastructure, Audits, and Education: A Three-Pronged Approach to Waste Reduction

  • Luther College (IA)

This poster will demonstrate how Luther College is working to achieve its zero waste goals by investing in infrastructure, conducting waste audits and creatively educating the campus community. Under the ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Stop Recycling? Stop Composting? The hard choices when doing the right thing for People, Profit, and Planet.

  • Cornell University (NY)

Engaged students, faculty, and staff are eager to recycle and compost all they can! But what happens after material goes in the recycle or compost bin? Collaboration with campus partners ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Learnings in Advancing Sustainability, Measuring Progress, and Keeping Campus Clean with Smart Waste & Recycling Solutions

  • BigBelly Solar (MA)

Now more than ever, colleges and universities are placing emphasis on creating a comprehensive campus-wide approach to increase commitment to sustainability, efficiency, and the environment. This commitment is embodied by ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Transforming a Campus for Zero Waste by Focusing on People

  • Aquinas College (MI)

Change is difficult; changing people's habits and shifting organizational priorities is an even bigger challenge. Yet, we are all faced with a global imperative to take action to protect ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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ZW Campus

  • University of Denver (CO)

To be a zero waste campus, the University of Denver is implementing new projects to eliminate historically unsustainable practices. The presentation will highlight some of the projects that will make ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Sustainability in Sports: Paving the Way to Zero Waste

  • University of Denver (CO)

Since 2012, the University of Denver has been creating a space for sustainability in Athletics. The Zero Waste Athletics program began with hockey in 2012, and now currently averages a ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Creative Campaigning: A 'Zero Waste Week' Case Study on Organizing and Executing a University-Wide Engagement Program

  • New York University (NY)

When you launch a university-wide engagement program or initiative, how effective are you in reaching current and new audiences? How are you marketing and communicating the initiative? Through this case ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Residential and Academic Composting: Strategies for Success

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)

Integrating composting into academic and residential settings on campus is no easy task at a large public institution. Managing contamination, potential for odors and mess, and student education - particularly in ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Understanding Food Waste at Johnson County Community College: A Multi-Method Approach

  • Johnson County Community College (KS)

This proposal will document through observation and participant feedback how student awareness of issues surrounding food insecurity and waste may change following a student volunteer-run audit on post-consumer cafeteria waste.

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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DON'T PUNT ON RECYCLING! What your recycling program can mean to your school's curriculum, eco-identity, & bottom-line!

  • Loyola Marymount University (CA)

This presentation offers a macro-view lens of Sustainability Programs as one of the only truly new tools traditional fixed-sight Higher Education Administrators have to answer the dot-edu on-line degree program ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Catch the Wave: A Recycling Success Story from Concept to Today

  • University of Kansas Medical Center (KS)

Starting up a recycling program at a medical/research educational facility has several challenges from 'How do we start?' to 'What can we recycle?'. This poster presentation will demonstrate the ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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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

  • Aramark Higher Education (PA)
  • UC Irvine (CA)

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 State 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 (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 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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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.

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.