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

From Bags to Boards: The Experimentation Behind the Recycled Building Material "BagBoard"

  • University of North Carolina, Wilmington (NC)

In the United States alone, the EPA estimates that 380 BILLION plastic bags are used once and then discarded. The answer to this plastic plague may come from the small ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Data-Driven Planning for Campus Materials Management - From Inputs Through Outputs

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA)

While the higher education sustainability field is grappling with materials management challenges, from procurement through waste operations, there are limited tools and processes for data-driven planning. University campuses yield the ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Lessons from Year 1 of Turning the Page on Campus Paper Use

  • Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus (OR)
  • Root Solutions (CA)

Join this session to learn about the experiences of the initial cohort and AASHE's Turning the Page on Campus Paper Use program. Organized in partnership with behavior change specialists ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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10,000 Makes Mini Sustainable Product Make-A-Thon

  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (MN)

This workshop is the Design U 10 Thousand Makes Make-A-Thon but in a smaller workshop format. The 10,000 Makes Make-A-Thon is give them a pile of reused materials and ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Measuring Student Attitudes Towards Sustainable Development With a One-Semester Sustainovation

  • Penn State Brandywine (PA)

In Fall 2017, Penn State Brandywine kicked off an initiative titled Sustainovation, emphasizing programming and community collaborations through sustainability and innovation. The campus identified three community partners to work with ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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How to Get Reusable Dining Containers on Your Campus!

  • Northern Arizona University (AZ)

Many campuses serve food at dining locations in single-use plastics. These plastics may be recyclable, but unfortunately, these containers are rarely cleaned. As a result, the recycling is contaminated. In ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Using Catering to Create a Virtuous Cycle of Sustainability in Your Community

  • Emory University (GA)
  • America To Go (NY)

Sustainability practitioners are constantly grappling with the hard questions: How to overcome inertia of the status quo? How to get others to adopt change? How to get businesses that could ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Green Dining at Georgia State University

  • Georgia State University (GA)

Georgia State's insourced dining services, PantherDining, continues to impress and promote sustainability throughout campus. With the help from the Student Sustainability Fee Fund, PantherDining recently launched Freight Farms' Leafy ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Closing the Food Loop

  • University of Pittsburgh (PA)

As a group of student from three different universities and a diverse range of interests, we all noticed that there were many problems with the current food system. To start ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Closing the Loop: Building a Healthy and Sustainable Campus Food System

  • California State University, Northridge (CA)

California State University, Northridge (CSUN) has made remarkable changes to its food landscape in the past few years. Our campus supports and hosts multiple organic food learning gardens as well ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Empowering Student Leaders to Create a Zero Waste Food Court

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

In order to divert 95% of solid waste from the landfill, UCI Hospitality & Dining (HDS) and Aramark collaborate with Social Ecology Field Study interns, Campus as a Living Lab ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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BYO[Solutions]: Reuse Programs in Campus Dining

  • University of Pittsburgh (PA)

College campuses are hubs of waste, from plastic bags to disposable food containers and single-use coffee cups. However, universities can use this opportunity to implement waste-reduction programs with the aim ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Renewable Energy for Campus Facilities Services

  • Black Hills State University (SD)

Through our case study, we were able to demonstrate that a self-sustaining biodiesel program could be effectively operated on the Black Hills State University campus as well as potentially other ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Greening the Chemistry Research and Teaching Labs: Resources to Increase Safety and Reduce Waste

  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (MN)
  • Beyond Benign (MA)

University and college campuses across the United States are pushing the envelope on greening their campus facilities, operations, and processes. However, despite their disproportionate consumption of resources, laboratories are often ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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A New Resource To Engage Your Chemistry Department In Sustainability

  • Beyond Benign (MA)

Despite the underlying fundamental reliance on chemistry innovations for a more sustainable future, undergraduate chemistry teaching laboratories still use traditional experiments that are resource-intensive and employ hazardous reagents. It is ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Mindful Unbuilding: A Zero Waste Campus-Community Adventure

  • DePauw University (IN)

What does a university do with a vacant old house that cannot be restored? Ordinarily: bulldoze it and haul it away to a landfill. But what if you were to ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Overcoming Administrative Barriers in Waste Management Projects

  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln (NE)

My project will be primarily covering the barriers that many students face when trying to implement new sustainable projects on their campuses. The focus of my project will be a ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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The Power of Process: Thoughtful Engagement for Successful Projects

  • Brown University (RI)
  • GreenerU (MA)

You probably know best practices in, say, composting. Maybe you have researched the best compost haulers, how composting food can reduce GHG emissions, and how it saves water and energy ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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From 'Fix it Fest' to Fix it First: Nurturing a Campus Culture of Reuse

  • Western Kentucky University (KY)

Student accessibility to sustainable living resources is an absolute priority at any university. We want students to not only recycle, but also reduce and reuse what they have in order ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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The Intersectionality of the Arts and Environmental Activism

  • University of Denver (CO)

At the University of Denver, the Center for Sustainability has established a Zero Waste Program at all sports games, and the average diversion rate of waste from landfill is approximately ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Community-Driven Reuse Initiatives

  • Flower City Pickers (NY)

This session will explore examples where waste, whether that is food, electronics, clothing, and more are recovered and either resold or redistributed by creating and leveraging purpose-driven communities. It explores ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Student Oriented Sustainability Projects on a Small Educational Campus

  • State University of New York at Canton (NY)

In learning about sustainability practices, students acquire more knowledge through an active process of engagement, by constructing new ideas and working on projects, rather than traditional teaching practices such as ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Using the Campus as a Living Laboratory: The Think 80:20 Recycling Program at Deerfield Academy

  • Deerfield Academy (MA)

Many institutions struggle to integrate recycling and organics collections broadly across their campuses. In 2013, Deerfield Academy re-booted its traditional recycling program and began to implement composting out into the ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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#stopsucking: Leveraging Coalitions to Turn #strawlesssummer into an Endless Summer

  • College of Charleston (SC)

Approximately 630000 straws are used daily in Charleston, South Carolina. This single-use plastic often finds its way to the environment. Local branches of national organizations such as Surfrider, Lonely Whale ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Meeting the food waste challenge in higher education

  • Montana State University (MT)

Food waste represents a major sustainability challenge with environmental, economic, social and health implications. Institutions of higher education contribute to generating food waste while serving as models in championing sustainability ...

  • Posted Oct. 23, 2018
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Food Recovery At UIC

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

At the University of Illinois at Chicago's (UIC) dining facilities, there is much food that is prepared but not eaten. It goes to the landfill, but it could be ...

  • Posted Aug. 10, 2018
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Meeting the food waste challenge in higher education

  • Montana State University (MT)

Purpose: Food waste represents a major sustainability challenge with environmental, economic, social and health implications. Institutions of higher education contribute to generating food waste while serving as models in championing ...

  • Posted Aug. 10, 2018
  • Publications
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UConn ECOCoin Program

  • University of Connecticut (CT)

In 2017, the University of Connecticut bookstore rolled out its ECOCoin initiative, through which customers are given an ECOCoin each time they forfeit a plastic bag at the register. The ...


Emerson College Food Cam

  • Emerson College (MA)

The Emerson College Food Cam is a counter with camera mount that allows members of the campus community to share leftover food with others. Often used by campus catering, donors ...


University of Pittsburgh BYO[Bag] Program

  • University of Pittsburgh (PA)

The University of Pittsburgh BYO[Bag] (Bring Your Own Bag) program launched through Pitt Housing & Dining in 2014 after more than five years of student initiatives to reduce plastic ...


University of Dayton Composting Bins

  • University of Dayton (OH)

Students in the University of Dayton Hanley Sustainability Institute built two 4’x6’ bins to compost campus food.


Food Waste Composting Bin Construction

  • University of Dayton (OH)

Student leaders in the University of Dayton Hanley Sustainability Institute work with campus Master Carpenter to build two 4’x6’ bins to compost campus food waste.


Food Waste Composting Bin Construction

  • University of Dayton (OH)

Student leaders in the University of Dayton Hanley Sustainability Institute are building two 4’x6’ bins to compost campus food waste.


Johnson County Community College Green Circle Certification in Cosmetology

  • Johnson County Community College (KS)

In February 2017, Johnson County Community College’s Center for Sustainability began to develop a certification protocol for the campus’ cosmetology program to become Green Circle certified. This third-party certification ...


University of Dayton Composting and Recycling Bins

  • University of Dayton (OH)

The University of Dayton places composting and recycling bins outside dining facilities on campus to encourage composting and recycling and diverting “trash” from landfills.


University of Dayton Composting Bins

  • University of Dayton (OH)

Students in the University of Dayton Hanley Sustainability Institute built two 4’x6’ bins to compost campus food and plastic.


10% Discount on Yale School of Public Health's Climate Change & Health Certificate for AASHE members

  • Yale University (CT)

Students, staff and faculty at AASHE higher education institutions are eligible for a 10% discount off an 18-week online certificate giving you tools to address the health impacts of climate ...


Reduce the Juice: How to Run a Waste Sprint

  • University of London

This communications plan aims to assist universities that are looking to run residence hall sustainability engagement program. It’s designed for running a waste reduction sprint, but could be used ...


Beyond Diversion: Qualitative Data to Measure Zero Waste Efforts

  • Carleton College (MN)
  • AASHE (PA)
  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

Absence of a streamlined and holistic framework through which to measure and communicate waste reduction efforts has Zero Waste loosely defined among colleges and universities. This issue is aggravated by ...

  • Posted May 25, 2018
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Project Delta

  • University of Texas at El Paso (TX)
  • Engineers for a Sustainable World (CO)

Project Delta was created by ESW-UTEP to evaluate and enhance The University of Texas at El Paso's (UTEP's) current recycling system. This project is expected to be finalized ...


Creating a Composting Culture at Colorado State University

  • Colorado State University (CO)

As Colorado State University (CSU) students, many of us were drawn to this school because of its unique ability to institutionalize sustainability. However, during our time here, we have often ...


Project Juarez

  • University of Texas at El Paso (TX)
  • Engineers for a Sustainable World (CO)

When our phones are no longer aesthetically pleasing, we tend to either disregard or throw away our phones. The question is why? Essentially, we are throwing away a small computer ...


MEND

  • Princeton University (NJ)

This semester, Princeton's EcoReps launched “Mend Monday,” a bi-weekly clothing repair initiative in Frist Campus Center. Cecilia Shang '18 and Nico Viglucci '17, the group's organizers, believe that ...


Ditch the Disposables

  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute (MA)

Ditch the Disposables is a WPI student-run campaign that was started in 2016 to reduce single-use plastic items at WPI. The project began with a reusable container program in the ...


Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

The exhibition, PLASTIC ENTANGLEMENTS: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials was on view at Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art from February 13, 2018 to June 17, 2018 with additional commissioned and ...


Loyola University Chicago Biodiesel Program

  • Loyola University Chicago (IL)

The Biodiesel Program, part of the Searle Center for Sustainability Innovations in Loyola’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability, saw its humble beginnings grow from an ingenious student idea to one ...


The Nova Scotia Community College’s (NSCC) Waste Management Improvement Project

  • Nova Scotia Community College (NS)

The project began with waste audits to establish a baseline of NSCC’s waste management practices and to try and improve them. From there it progressed into education efforts at ...


Stanford R&DE Student Housing Innovation in Cleaning

  • Stanford University (CA)

Stanford’s R&DE Student Housing Operations (SHO) adopted a green cleaning standard that has reduced chemical usage in residences by over 90%. The system engineer's water by infusing it ...


Clean Plates at State: Michigan State University

  • Michigan State University (MI)

Michigan State University is continually striving to build a sustainable culture on campus and in the Spartan community. Clean Plates at State helps students and members of our community understand ...


Campus-wide Zero Landfill Waste Policy Implementation & Outreach Program - Emory University

  • Emory University (GA)

In January 2018, Emory University implemented a completely redesigned waste policy as a leap toward the goal of zero landfill waste (defined nationally as diverting 95% of waste from municipal ...

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.