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

661 resources

Effects of Education and Program Improvements on Garbage Disposal and Recycling Quantities

  • Lenoir-Rhyne University (NC)

The project involved year long monitoring of dumpsters and recycling stations on the Lenoir-Rhyne College campus. A scale was drawn on each of these stations denoting measurements of height which ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Recycling During Student Move In and Move Out

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)

Student Move In and Move Out are both times of heavy waste generation on most college campuses. The University of Colorado at Boulder has developed a means to divert tons ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Trayless Dining: The Triple Bottom Line Business and Social Case

  • Aramark Higher Education (PA)

Trayless dining is recognized as a significant opportunity to introduce sustainability into the dining stream. It represents a true triple bottom line initiative with environmental, economic, and social benefits. Yet ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Beyond Disposables: A Reusable To-go System

  • Eckerd College (FL)

Each year millions of clamshell disposable containers end up in the landfill. This issue can be solved by implementing a reusable to-go system. The reusable to-go system consists of a ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Zero Waste Programs on Campus: How Low Can We Go?

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)

A renewed emphasis on waste prevention is signaling an exciting shift among a growing number of college campuses, off-campus communities, and leading corporations internationally. Zero waste is no longer an ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Turning Trash into Transportation: Establishing and Growing a (Recycled) Campus-bicycle Sharing Program

  • University of Kentucky (KY)

At the University of Kentucky we have developed a highly successful and innovative bicycle sharing program called the Wildcat Wheels Bicycle Library (www.wildcatwheels.org). The mission of our program ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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How a Large Institution of Higher Learning can Impact Regional Growth on Sustainability Practices: Commercial Composting in the Pacific Northwest

  • University of Washington, Seattle (WA)

The University of Washington is a public, four-year institution with a 40,000 student enrollment. The campus population also includes more than 30,000 faculty and staff. The Department of ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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The Power of Partnership: Redefining Closed-Loop Recycling

  • Green Mountain College (VT)

Green Mountain College reaffirmed its commitment to being a leader in sustainability by joining Casella Waste Systems Power of Three™ closed loop recycling initiative. The Power of Three is Casella ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Collaborative Biodiesel Project

  • Appalachian State University (NC)

The Collaborative Biodiesel Project is a student-led initiative at Appalachian State University and is partially funded by the EPA P3 Award: Student Design Competition for Sustainability. The purpose of the ...

  • Posted Feb. 25, 2016
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Survey: Fans More Likely To Attend Games, Buy Hot Dogs if Stadium Composts Trash

Our latest national survey gives universities a new reason to go green: It’s smart business. Nearly a third of Americans said they’d be more likely to attend a ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2016
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Guest Blog: The Road to a Campus Plastic Bag Ban

  • Washington University in St. Louis (MO)

During the 2012-2013 school year we passed a Student Union Senate resolution calling for an end to the distribution of plastic bags in campus stores. The year ended with little ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2016
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AASHE Interview Series: Herb Sharpe, Corporate Director of Education and Health Care Solutions at Waste Management

  • Waste Management (TX)

Judy Walton, AASHE's Chief Publications Officer, recently interviewed Herb Sharpe, Corporate Director of Education and Health Care Solutions at Waste Management, an AASHE Business Leader Member. Herb is responsible ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2016
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Talking Trash for America Recycles Day

  • College & University Recycling Coalition (DC)

The purpose of America Recycles Day is to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and waste reduction in conserving natural resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The 34 percent ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2016
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AASHE Student Diary Series: From 'Compost Lady' to Compost Campus

  • Lehigh University (PA)

In my last entry, I wrote about my preliminary composting research at Lehigh University as a first-year student. I am now a junior and compost research has remained an important ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2016
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Earning Green By Going Green: A Case Study of the Waste Stream at LIU Post

  • LIU Post (NY)

Trash is considered something holding no value. It is something that is worthless or meaningless. Contrary to that definition, trash often always holds some value. At LIU Post, we throw ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2016
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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
  • Case Studies
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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
  • Case Studies
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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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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.

Busch Systems

Barrie, ON
Business Supporter

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.