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

736 resources

Bridging the Academic and Operational Divide with WALLE: The Waste Audit Living Lab Experience

  • Portland State University (OR)

Like many universities, Portland State University (PSU) is operationally challenged to collect concrete and robust data about the quantity and types of materials that are going through its waste stream ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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A Zero-Waste Campus is Possible

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

In this workshop, students are asked to envision what a zero waste campus would look like. We break the room into groups and give them time to draw or map ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Fostering Student Leadership for Zero Waste Campuses

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

The focus of this Think Tank will be to progress the vision of Zero Waste campuses. Highlighting the importance of student involvement in these initiatives, we will troubleshoot the perceived ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Developing a Student-Led Move-Out Waste and Yard Sale Program

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

In 2010, after seeing dumpsters overflowing with thousands of usable materials during the previous year's move-out, I founded the UNH Trash 2 Treasure program as a sophomore. As students ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Food Recovery, Food Security, & Organics Recycling: Solutions and Best Practices for Environmental and Financial Sustainability

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

Food recovery, dining waste reduction, and organics recycling (composting or anaerobic digestion) projects often go hand in hand at institutions of higher education, and all of these efforts require widespread ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Compost Diplomacy and Harvesting the Waste of Nations

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

The student-run compost program at the University of Arizona provides a model for how institutions of higher education can engage profoundly with their communities and the social and environmental challenges ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Fast Food Waste Streams and Zero Waste Goals: Opportunities at the Interface of Town and Gown

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

Commercial districts near campuses often cater to students, offering fast and inexpensive food. Single use food service items, including containers, napkins, straws, yogurt and boba cups, bags and boxes, clog ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Pick It Up! Trash talk, a garden gnome and the push to eliminate litter at the University of Kentucky.

  • University of Kentucky (KY)

Litter is a unique campus challenge with a diverse and unpredictable set of causes and contributing factors. It can also be a black eye for any campus. Pick It Up ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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A New Way to Turn Trash Into Cash - The University of San Diego Electronics Recycling Center

  • University of San Diego (CA)

Winner of the 2014 Best Case Study from a Four-Year or Graduate Institution with 10,000 or Fewer Full-Time Students, the University of San Diego Electronics Recycling Center (USD ERC ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Implementing a Sustainable Food Recycling/Repurposing Program on a Large Campus in the Southeast (SEC)

  • University of Tennessee at Knoxville (TN)

At most universities food service operations abide by rules relating to shelf life. At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), the Food Recovery Network, and the Dining Service Company, Aramark ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Developing a Model for a Residential Curbside Organics Collection System in Charleston, SC using the Business Model Canvas

  • College of Charleston (SC)

The Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a brainstorming and innovation tool used by businesses to map and design many different business models and ideas. While initially developed as a tool ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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E-Waste and a Smart(er) Triple Bottom Line: Campus Electronic Waste Management, Natural Security User Challenges & Social Media Opportunities

  • Maryville College (TN)

Mobile 'smart' phone electronic (E) waste remains among the fastest growing waste streams in the United States and the world. North American Colleges and Universities need to refocus their campus-wide ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Closed-Loop 3D Printing

  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago (IL)

For my AASHE art installation I will screen an instructional video which describes the process of creating a sculpture using recycled 3D printing filament. The film will demonstrate preparing, shredding ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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New Play Development Utilizing Digital Paper

  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (IL)

In professional MFA Playwriting programs across the country, tens of thousands of pages of paper are printed and discarded each week. Developing writers need to hear their scripts read aloud ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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All About No Waste: Using Pop Culture to Engage Students in Sustainability

  • Stanford University (CA)

Each year, Stanford University competes against hundreds of universities in RecycleMania, a national competition to increase recycling and composting and reduce waste on campus. Headed into the ninth year of ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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UC Berkeley Plastic Disclosure Project

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

The Plastic Disclosure Project (PDP) at UC Berkeley discloses the campus' plastic footprint, making it the first University to publicly reveal this information. The objectives of PDP is to measure ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Cultivating a Zero Waste Culture on Campus

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

In 2014, UC Berkeley was at 48% waste diversion, well behind the UC wide goal of Zero Waste by 2020. We are just coming to the tipping point where we ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Integrating Composting and Recycling in University of California Berkeley Residence Halls

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

Achieving Zero Waste at any college campus is riddled with obstacles and push back. The campus residence halls offer a huge opportunity to capitalize on reducing campus generated waste and ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Waste Minimization Pilot Projects at the University of Denver

  • University of Denver (CO)

In this case study, I will go over the successes and failures of student run pilot projects. As a student, I have experienced what is needed to make a pilot ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Growing a Successful RecycleMania Campaign

  • University of Iowa (IA)

RecycleMania has grown at the University of Iowa from a quiet program in 2013 and a 5th place finish in the Big Ten to a well-known time of the year ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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College & University Recycling Coalition Annual Business Meeting

  • University of Oregon (OR)

The annual business meeting of the College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC) is open to all conference attendees. Everyone is welcome to attend and learn about what CURC has been ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Food Waste and Nutrition: Food Waste Auditing Combined with Vermicomposting for Applied Nutrition and Sustainability Education.

  • University of Utah (UT)

Many Nutrition and Dietetic graduate students end up working in field such as Nutrition Therapy and Medical Nutrition Therapy where they are in hospital and/or care settings, working as ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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In-Room Composting at Seattle University

  • Seattle University (WA)

Presentation will cover the the process of implementing an in-room composting system that includes all student residence rooms. It will start with the collecting pre-consumer food waste in the University ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Lessons Learned from Eco Move Out – Discover what works and what doesn’t

  • University of Alberta (AB)

Five thousand students’ cycle in and out of the University of Alberta’s (UAlberta) residences every year, and the material waste created and costs associated with this cycle are large ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Is My Recycling Bin Full? Yep, there’s an App for that.

  • University of Puget Sound (WA)

While technology is allowing for greater expediency and efficiency of recycling operations; one area that is in most need of a technological upgrade is our ability to know when a ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Getting Trashy: Measurable Pilot Projects to Identify Best Practices

  • University of Denver (CO)

Pilot projects targeting increased diversion rates are a direct means of engaging the community, determining best practices, and driving change through measurable results. At the University of Denver, we launched ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Our Story of Stuff: Sharing “waste” with a campus Free Store

  • University of Louisville (KY)

Like many large, urban universities with a residential population, the University of Louisville (UofL) has faced two major challenges at the heart of sustainability: an over-abundance of discarded, useful items ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Trash Talks: revealing the potential of a building’s waste stream

  • Portland State University (OR)

My case study will examine how a day’s waste from a single dumpster can be used to provoke art and design students into discussion and multilateral thinking about how ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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AUN Sustainable Waste Management with Municipal Waste Reuse

  • American University of Nigeria (Adamawa,)

The American University of Nigeria drives sustainable waste management with participatory municipal waste reuse program The Office of Sustainability at the American University of Nigeria (AUN) drives sustainable waste management ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Building Community Partnerships to Promote Sustainable Waste Practices

  • Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (DF)
  • Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey Campus Leon

As part of a research project run by the Sustainability department at the Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores Unidad León (ENES), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico, professors ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Standardizing building infrastructure to increase service efficiency and waste diversion

  • University of Washington, Seattle (WA)

Since 2008 the University of Washington has been implementing its MiniMax program. What started out simply as a self-service, desk-side waste and recycling collection program to raise awareness about personal ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Working Together To Fight Hunger and Waste

  • Bon Appétit Management Company
  • Food Recovery Network (MD)

Every day students are asking more of the university around them and it can be difficult for dining service providers to know how to address requests. Whether it be for ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Waste management and recycling at the National University of Mexico

  • Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (DF)

The National Autonomous University of México (UNAM) as part of one of the world’s largest cities faces a number of problems related to the generation, management and the physical ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Innovation & Partnership for Landfill Waste Diversion

  • Emory University (GA)

Creativity, innovation, and partnership are essential for successful campus waste minimization and landfill diversion efforts. A series of collaborative efforts have recently emerged in order to work towards meeting Emory ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Food Composting in the Real World

  • Carnegie Mellon University (PA)

Since 2007, incremental successes have taken our campus food composting weights from 0 to 419 tons, increasing every year! The Pittsburgh region food composting initiative started with stakeholder food audits ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Redefining the Norms of Waste Management Through Behavioral Changes

  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)

The UC-wide goal of Zero Waste by 2020 continues to encourage campuses to increase their waste diversion practices. At UCSB, we believe that we need to gain a better understanding ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Evolution of Zero Waste in a Retail Food Court

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

The objective of UC Irvine’s Zero Waste Food Court Pilot Program is to expand practices from campus residential dining locations to Phoenix Food Court as a model for additional ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Repair Fairs: Promoting waste reduction in community involvement

  • Oregon State University (OR)

One of the largest challenges in engaging students in sustainability is creating meaningful experiences. Encouraging students to practice reuse is particularly challenging, as it requires a personal commitment. Likewise, educating ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Implementing a Student-Led Move-Out Waste Program: UMass Amherst

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (MA)
  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

For the last year, UMass Amherst has been partnering with a newly-formed nonprofit organization, The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN), to launch a student-led move-out waste collection and resale program. PLAN ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Effects of Behavioral Signage on Dormitory Recycling Rates

  • Boston University (MA)

Data shows that pairing recycling and trash containers leads to higher recycling rates. However, many older buildings do not have space for more than a trash container, especially in residential ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Give & Go Move-Out Donation Program: Multifaceted Student Outreach Campaign

  • Stanford University (CA)

Stanford’s newly revamped and rebranded Give & Go Move Out donation program in R&DE Student Housing has dramatically reduced the waste stream sent to landfills at the end of ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Campus Waste Watching - Examining Metrics and Efficient Material Use

  • American University (DC)
  • Harvard University (MA)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)
  • University of Florida (FL)

This panel discussion will focus on addressing the importance of metrics as they relate to waste management, with a specific focus on tracking, analyzing, and utilizing waste data to improve ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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It’s hard to play the game, if you don’t know the score

  • Purdue University (IN)
  • Re-TRAC Connect (MB)

Quality data is critical to measuring performance – after all, how do you know how well you’re performing if you don’t know where you started? Universities and colleges across ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Students & Climate Change Intervention: Investment Office Insights

  • University of British Columbia (BC)
  • Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (NY)

Focused on campuses with the intention of mobilizing student activists, late in 2012 a "divest from fossil fuel" campaign was begun. Most faith and values-driven institutional investors were attentive to ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Consumer-Free, Zero Waste Year

  • American University (DC)
  • University of Florida (FL)

Joseph Floyd (University of Florida) decided to live one year consumer-free and zero waste. Following the 2013 AASHE Conference, Natalia Posthill (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Helen ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Post Consumer Composting at the University of Florida: A Partnership Between ARAMARK, WCA and the University of Florida

  • University of Florida (FL)
  • WCA (TX)

Overview: As part of its goal to be zero waste by 2015, the University of Florida developed a comprehensive organics composting solution to address almost 25% of the total campus ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Student Innovation and Materials Management in Portland: The CES Model

  • Portland State University (OR)

Many organizations are taking a more strategic approach towards managing the waste they generate. Driven by the opportunity to improve environmental and economic performance, they are prioritizing their waste stream ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Teaching and Learning for a Zero Waste Future

  • DePauw University (IN)

The global materials economy is a fundamental driver of all of our most serious and urgent crises: climate change, toxic pollution, biodiversity loss, poverty, and injustice. This economic system rests ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Harnessing student enthusiasm through a Waste Reduction Task Force

  • Portland State University (OR)

Portland State University’s Waste Reduction Task Force is a student-led initiative that seeks to redefine the way PSU’s campus community looks at trash. Through partnering with strategic departments ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Campus Composting

  • Southwestern University (TX)

Southwestern University students led a composting initiative in Fall 2011 which has evolved into a campus wide program which has made a significant impact on the community and University. The ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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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

Busch Systems

Barrie, ON
Business Leader

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

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.