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

Greening the Campus: Converting Organic Waste to Energy

  • Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)

This project explores the potential waste-to-energy (WtE) technologies based on current conditions at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) (e.g., waste resource availability) by proposing the following three feasible WtE ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2016
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STARS Facts and Best Practices: Waste Reduction and Diversion

  • AASHE (PA)

Last month, STARS Participants joined the ranks of hundreds of U.S. and Canadian institutions to participate in Recyclemania, a friendly competition to see who can reduce, reuse, and recycle ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2016
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Natural Resources for the Public Good: A Student Campaign to End the Sale of Plastic Water Bottles and Fight Water Privatization at the University of California, Santa Cruz

  • University of California, Santa Cruz (CA)

Student campaigns to end the sale of plastic water bottles have grown in popularity in the United States over the past five years. However, most campaigns rely on information dissemination ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2016
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Starting from Scratch: Greening Your Game Day

  • AASHE (PA)
  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)
  • College & University Recycling Coalition (DC)

Supported by AASHE, Keep America Beautiful, and the College and University Recycling Coalition, this toolkit provides a guide for institutions of higher education across the country to implement or improve ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2016
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UCLA Campus Recycling Action Research Team

  • University of California, Los Angeles (CA)

The UCLA Action Research Teams (ART) program gives students the opportunity to form research teams of 5-7 students that tackle issues of campus sustainability such as energy efficiency, transportation, waste ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2016
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Recycling after consumption: A Theory of Planned Behavior approach

  • Texas A&M University (TX)

Research is needed to understand consumers' recycling behaviors to potentially increase the recovery rate of recyclable materials. Drawing from the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1985), we sought to understand ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2016
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Signaling Change: Studying the effect of price signals on disposable hot beverage cup consumption

  • Tufts University (MA)

Every year, American food service businesses give away over 52 billion disposable paper coffee cups. Interestingly enough, the monetary and environmental costs of the production, purchase, and disposal of these ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2016
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Food and Fuel: Biogas Potential at Broward Dining Hall

  • University of Florida (FL)

Biogas, a sustainable natural gas equivalent, can be produced from food waste using anaerobic digestion. Large amounts of food waste are produced at campus dining halls. The goals of the ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2016
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Big News on Campus

  • Carnegie Mellon University (PA)
  • Clemson University (SC)
  • Yale University (CT)

Provides information on the environmental practices of several colleges in the U.S. Benefits of the Yale Sustainable Food Project for local farmers; Condition of living at the dormitories in ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2016
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Making a large-scale campus rummage sale happen in 17 days!

  • University of Missouri (MO)

Since 2007, MU has been perfecting a process for reducing residence hall waste at the end of the school year move out. Items collected are organized for a rummage sale ...

  • Posted June 23, 2015
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Biogas systems with anaerobic digestion for sustainability education and and research renewable energy production

  • University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (WI)

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Biogas program consists of three anaerobic digestion facilities that divert organic wastes from landfills, destroy methane gas, generate electrical and thermal energy, and produce quality ...

  • Posted June 19, 2015
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FreeFest!

  • California State University, East Bay (CA)

Since Spring 2011, California State University East Bay (CSUEB) Student Housing has been coordinating a move-out program for on-campus residents. This program is similar to move-out programs at other campuses ...

  • Posted June 19, 2015
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RIT FoodShare

  • Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)

RIT FoodShare is an initiative designed to reduce food waste on campus while reducing food insecurity among RIT students. It consists of two components - a facebook group and a FoodShare ...

  • Posted June 12, 2015
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RecycleMania as a Campus as a Living Lab Project

  • Central New Mexico Community College (NM)

Can college faculty help to reduce waste, increase recycling, and introduce sustainability concepts, all while sticking to their course learning outcomes? At Central New Mexico Community College, we found a ...

  • Posted June 11, 2015
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Charging for Disposable to-go Boxes to Reduce Waste and Generate Sustainability Funds (Updated)

  • Clarkson University (NY)

Multiple stakeholders came together at Clarkson University to implement a $0.50 charge on disposable to-go boxes in campus dining facilities. A reusable to-go box system was marketed and made ...

  • Posted June 11, 2015
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Feasibility study of implementing an aerated static compost system for food waste in University of Hawaii at Manoa housing

  • University of Hawaii at Manoa (HI)

There are no facilities on Oahu capable of converting the post-consumer food waste generated by the University of Hawaii into compost. This is an inquiry into the feasibility of implementing ...

  • Posted June 11, 2015
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Game Day Recycling at UTK

  • University of Tennessee at Knoxville (TN)

UT Recycling is working in partnership with UT Athletics, Aramark, Office of Sustainability, and Good Sports Always Recycle to eliminate at least 90% of waste created during athletic events through ...

  • Posted June 11, 2015
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Going Above and Beyond Niagara College's Waste Diversion Target

  • Niagara College Canada (ON)

Niagara College's goal of achieving a 65% diversion rate has taken many years to find the best combination of strategies to work towards this sustainability target. Integrating waste management ...

  • Posted June 10, 2015
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Campus Salvage Move-Out Collection and Donation Program

  • Coastal Carolina University (SC)

Campus Salvage is Coastal Carolina University's collection and donation program designed to divert unwanted items from the landfill when students move-out at the end of the year. The project ...

  • Posted June 10, 2015
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The University of Arizona Pac-12 Zero Waste Event

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

With inspiration and participation from the Green Sports Alliance, all Pac-12 universities participated in a friendly competition to see who could achieve a zero-waste home basketball game during the 2014-15 ...

  • Posted June 10, 2015
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Translating Perceptions into Action: Advancing Zero Waste in ASU Housing

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

Report examines current solid waste management operational practices, infrastructure, stakeholder perceptions, and behavior pertaining to student housing on Arizona State University's (ASU) Tempe academic campus in order to inform ...

  • Posted March 3, 2015
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UA Compost Cats: Students Creating Community Partnerships to Turn Garbage into Gardens and Foster Local Food Security

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

Located 60 miles from the largest, landlocked port for food in North America, the student-run Compost Cats program has now forged partnerships with the City of Tucson, San Xavier Co-op ...

  • Posted April 12, 2014
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Turning Trash Into Cash- Sustainable Social Entrepreneurship

  • University of San Diego (CA)

In April 2011, the University of San Diego (USD) opened the Electronics Recycling Center (ERC), San Diego's first full-time e-waste collection facility for the public, with the intention of ...

  • Posted April 12, 2014
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How to Start a Comprehensive Composting and Recycling Program at a Commuter College

  • Austin Community College (TX)

The Austin Community College is committed to promote and practice responsible environmental behavior. ACC has been rolling out numerous green initiatives designed to shrink its environmental footprint and increase the ...

  • Posted April 11, 2014
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UCI Zero Waste Food Court Pilot Program

  • University of California, Irvine (CA)

The University of California, Irvine launched a pilot program for post-consumer waste diversion in retail dining in 2013. The program achieved Zero Waste under the University of California Office of ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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Moving towards waste-free Move-out

  • Knox College (IL)

At the end of the school year, Knox college students, faculty, and staff join forces to collect and divert the many streams of resources (formerly classified as waste) generated during ...

  • Posted March 17, 2014
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Take Action on Waste: A Community Based Social Marketing Project in Student Residences

  • University of Alberta (AB)

Take Action on Waste began in 2010 as a project at the University of Alberta that aims to improve waste diversion behaviours in residences. Challenges with infrastructure and education at ...


Food Scraps Recovery at Kean University

  • Kean University (NJ)

Kean University began a comprehensive on-campus food scraps composting project in January 2010. Food scraps are processed in an in-vessel composting system that requires just five days to convert them ...


Sustainable Packaging at the University of Florida

  • University of Florida (FL)

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


BYU-Idaho Recycling Center Program

  • 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 Nov. 19, 2012
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We Conserve: A Campus Wide Campaign

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 June 26, 2012
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Earning Green By Going Green: A Case Study of the Waste Stream at LIU Post

  • 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 June 11, 2012
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Zero Waste at Ohio Stadium: Lessons Learned and a Beginner's Guide

  • 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 March 13, 2012
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University Recycling at work! Case study in Puerto Rico

  • 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 June 23, 2011
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Biomass at Colorado State University: the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

  • 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 June 16, 2011
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Testing Single Stream Versus Dual Stream Recycling at CU

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 ...

  • Posted June 30, 2010
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Harvard Medical School Reusable Sharps Container Pilot

  • 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 ...

  • Posted June 30, 2010
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Implementing Vermicomposting in Luther College Residence Halls

  • 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 ...

  • Posted June 30, 2010
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Centralized Recycling Pilot at NYU Stern

  • 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 ...

  • Posted June 30, 2010
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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.