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

517 resources

BYU-Idaho Recycling Center Program Membership Required

  • Brigham Young University, Idaho (ID)

The point of this project was to use the recycling facilities that have been established at BYU-Idaho to partner with the City of Rexburg and expand the recycling program to ...

  • Posted 4 years, 8 months ago
  • Case Studies
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We Conserve: A Campus Wide Campaign Membership Required

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

The University of Wisconsin - Madison initiated the aggressive We Conserve program in 2006 to further strengthen its environmental stewardship practices and to promote education and motivation to the community on ...

Recycling, Reuse, and Composting Program: Phase 1 Membership Required

  • University of Rochester (NY)

Until 2008, a formal recycling program did not exist at our University. In order to establish a sustainability program that would expand and thrive, Support Operations implemented Phase 1 of ...

Foam Free Dining at the University of Florida Membership Required

  • University of Florida (FL)
  • Aramark Higher Education (PA)

Gator Dining Services at the University of Florida (UF) eliminated foam containers from campus dining operations, making the University of Florida the only ARAMARK foam- free dining operation in the ...

Public-Private Food Waste Composting Program Membership Required

  • Illinois State University (IL)
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)

The goal of this project was to provide a viable option for businesses and institutions to divert their food waste from the solid waste stream. McLean County is a prime ...

  • Posted 5 years, 1 month ago
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Earning Green By Going Green: A Case Study of the Waste Stream at LIU Post Membership Required

  • LIU Post (NY)

This is a complete analysis of the waste stream at LIU Post, looking at nearly every type of category of waste that we produce. A waste audit was conducted to ...

  • Posted 5 years, 1 month ago
  • Case Studies
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Zero Waste at Ohio Stadium: Lessons Learned and a Beginner's Guide Membership Required

  • The Ohio State University (OH)

In autumn 2011, The Ohio State University launched the Zero Waste at Ohio Stadium program, becoming the largest stadium in the country to attempt a "zero waste" initiative. Zero waste ...

  • Posted 5 years, 4 months ago
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University Recycling at work! Case study in Puerto Rico Membership Required

  • Ana G. M├⌐ndez University System (PR)

In 2006, Undergraduate Environmental Science students sparked the Recycling Program at the Universidad Metropolitana, Puerto Rico with a simple question "Why we do not recycle at the University?

Since then ...

  • Posted 6 years, 1 month ago
  • Case Studies
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Biomass at Colorado State University: the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly Membership Required

  • Colorado State University (CO)

In 2009, Colorado State University and the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) partnered to build a biomass heating plant on the University's Foothills Campus. This facility burns wood chips ...

  • Posted 6 years, 1 month ago
  • Case Studies
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Testing Single Stream Versus Dual Stream Recycling at CU Membership Required

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)

A new single stream recycling program was tested in CU's residence halls and family housing courts during 2009. CU hoped that the added convenience would invigorate participation among the ...

Student and Staff Cooperative Implementation of a Residential Recycling Program at Iowa State University Membership Required

  • Iowa State University (IA)

The Department of Resdidence (DoR) and student leaders teamed up together to implement a residence hall wide recycling program. The program is intended to reduce waste of recyclables in residence ...

EcoMug at Western Michigan University: The First Decade Membership Required

  • Western Michigan University (MI)

In 2009, Western Michigan University created a novel, and as far as we know unprecedented, waste reduction initiative. During the first few weeks of school, each incoming student is given ...

Grounds Services Green Waste Re-Use Program at Arizona State University Membership Required

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

The Grounds Services department initiated a pair of programs that convert ASU's Tempe campus landscape green waste into valuable assets. One program collects green "waste" and sends it to ...

Iowa State University Recycling and Sustainability Program Membership Required

  • Iowa State University (IA)

The purpose of our project was to create a more sustainable living environment for students living on campus. The effort included creating a convenient, easy to use department wide recycling ...

Harvard Medical School Reusable Sharps Container Pilot Membership Required

  • Harvard University (MA)

In collaboration with Harvard Medical School (HMS) Campus Operations, Environmental Health & Safety, and the Office for Sustainability, two large research buildings constituting HMS' 'North Campus' have fully transitioned from ...

Implementing Vermicomposting in Luther College Residence Halls Membership Required

  • Luther College (IA)

Luther students have started disposing of fruit and vegetable waste in worm composting bins installed in seven of Luther's residence halls by students from the Luther Sustainability program.

Students ...

Centralized Recycling Pilot at NYU Stern Membership Required

  • New York University (NY)

The NYU Stern Campus Greening Initiative, Facilities, Recycling, Sustainability Office and Green Grants teams partnered to run a pilot project aimed at increasing the volume of recycled material at the ...

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).


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.


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


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


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.