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

1159 resources

Choose to Reuse

  • Boston University (MA)
  • ARAMARK at Boston University

Boston University’s Choose to Reuse program, offered at seven retail dining concepts in the George Sherman Union, provides students staff, and faculty the choice between ordering their meal on ...


EcoArt Entertainment

  • Texas A&M University (TX)

Wearing upcycled costumes, Brooklyn based Artichoke Dance Company performs as part of Campus Earth Day 2023. Artichoke Dance are EcoArtists and Environmental Activists. They are known for performances paired with ...


EcoArt Entertainment

  • Texas A&M University (TX)

Wearing upcycled costumes, Brooklyn based Artichoke Dance Company performs as part of Campus Earth Day 2023. Artichoke Dance are EcoArtists and Environmental Activists. They are known for performances paired with ...


Keep CUP the good work! Is sustainable consumption a promise or all talk?

  • Iowa State University (IA)
  • Starbucks (WA)

Plastic waste has now spread to every corner of the globe. To avoid wreaking additional havoc on our world, wholesale change is needed. Collaboration, creative rewards, forward-thinking businesses, and consumer ...


A 6 step strategy to run measurable zero waste campaigns

  • Zabble (CA)

Instead of conducting one-time or infrequent waste audits, we will share an alternative paradigm to reach concrete milestones towards your institution's zero waste journey. We will share best practices ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Black and Brown Bodies in Green Spaces. How to Create Structural Change in the Zero Waste Movement

  • Generation Conscious, Inc. (NY)

Join G.L. Genco as he shares his story on the founding of Generation Conscious and how he builds networks and power for intentionally exploited communities. Through this discussion, he ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Achieving zero-waste targets: residential & retail takeout dining

  • USEFULL (MA)

This is a conversation to discuss the challenges and opportunities with takeout food packaging on campus.

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Are Waste Audits a Waste of Time? An Introduction to Brand Audits

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

Have you heard of a brand audit? Learn from PLAN Campaign Director Young about the success of brand audits vs. their traditional counterpart, waste audits, in creating accountability for waste ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Rebuilding Confidence in Recycling

  • University of Vermont (VT)
  • Busch Systems International Inc. (ON)

The past few years have been rough for recycling. Exaggerated media stories and misinformation about contamination and recycling being “broken” have caused a growing number of people to question the ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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An Educational Program on Organic Waste Composting and Compost End Use at Kean University

  • Kean University (NJ)

An institutional-wide educational and behavior change campaign was initiated in 2021 at Kean University (KU) to promote organic waste recycling and composting on campus. The program focused on three areas ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Bin Infrastructure Planning – Placement & Design Standards

  • University of Michigan (MI)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)
  • Busch Systems International Inc. (ON)

This session facilitates knowledge exchange on how & where to implement standardized, public-facing bin infrastructure.

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Lightning Talks: Campus Operations (Group 1)

  • Louisiana State University (LA)
  • Stanford University (CA)
  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte (NC)

This session consists of 3 15-minute Lightning Talk sessions related to culture and communications. The Lightning Talks are: End-to-end Visibility into Operations for a Connected Zero Waste Campus - This session ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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The Break Free From Plastic Pledge

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

This holistic plastic elimination pledge has been signed onto by 19 schools-- Could you school be next? Learn about what our pledge is and how you can use it as ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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A Zero Waste Campus Is Possible

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

This session is an interactive presentation around how students can lead efforts to solve waste issues on their campuses by implementing new zero waste programs. We start with an overview ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Developing a Comprehensive and Efficient Recycling Operation

  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln (NE)

This session will focus on steps the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) has taken aimed at the development of a comprehensive and efficient recycling operation and the effect those steps have ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Compost Program Roll-out and Progression: Lessons Learned!

  • University of Michigan (MI)

The University of Michigan will share an overview of their compost program progression, from the low-hanging fruit of composting pre-consumer waste from dining halls and commercial kitchens to implementing composting ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Tackling Single-Use Plastics on Campus - What’s Working and What’s Not

  • George Mason University (VA)
  • National Wildlife Federation (VA)

Plastic pollution has been a problem for decades and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated it. A University of California, Santa Barbara, study concluded that between 2002 and 2015 the ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Zero Waste Campuses

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

This is a meetup for all students, staff, companies, and professionals that are working on campus Zero Waste efforts. Whether you're helping your campus achieve Zero Waste goals, or ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Eliminate Waste and Provide for the Underprivileged- A Free Store

  • University of Tennessee at Knoxville (TN)

The University of Tennessee – Knoxville’s program, The Free Store, is a community-based resource dedicated to helping UT students, faculty, and staff reduce their environmental impact and save money. It ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Who is the Post-Landfill Action Network?

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) was founded in 2013, by a group of college students. These students witnessed a systemic waste problem on their campus and developed the first student-led ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Small Actions, Massive Impact: Fighting Waste on Your Campus 101

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

Getting involved is a big step! This is an excellent session to attend if you are interested in starting a project to address waste systems on your campus but aren ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Finding Your Point of Intervention

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

In the zero waste community, there’s been a longstanding debate about whether individual action vs. collective action prompts the most effective change. What is your stance? How do you ...

  • Posted May 17, 2023
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Meghan VanDamme leads composting initiative at CMU

  • Central Michigan University (MI)

Meghan VanDamme and Central Sustainability collaborated with Facilities Management and CMU Residence Life to erect a compost drop-off at Northwest Apartments. The drop-off promotes sustainability by offering an opportunity for ...


Diverting Food Waste and Educating the Campus Community with Solar Powered Compost Kiosks at Illinois State University

  • Illinois State University (IL)

The Illinois State University Compost Kiosks provide a model for other institutions in diverting food waste and reducing single-use plastic while educating and engaging the campus community in the act ...


Auburn University Earth Day 2023

  • Auburn University (AL)

Earth Day is an annual event created to celebrate the environment and demonstrate support for environmental protection. More than one billion people in 192 countries participate in Earth Day activities ...


Auburn University Earth Day 2023

  • Auburn University (AL)

Earth Day is an annual event created to celebrate the environment and demonstrate support for environmental protection. More than one billion people in 192 countries participate in Earth Day activities ...


Auburn University Earth Day 2023

  • Auburn University (AL)

Earth Day is an annual event created to celebrate the environment and demonstrate support for environmental protection. More than one billion people in 192 countries participate in Earth Day activities ...


Hope College Students and Holland State Park Beach Cleanup Event

  • Hope College (MI)

Hope College students partnered with local high school student leaders to host their annual (spring and fall) community cleanup event at Holland State Park. Together they collected nearly 102 pounds ...


Enhancing Students’ Environmental Skills Through A Solid Waste Sustainability Hub

  • University of South Alabama (AL)

The objective of this project is to establish a solid waste sustainability hub that promotes environmental stewardship and education by focusing on waste reduction, recycling, reuse, and rethinking. A team ...


Waste Diversion at University of Florida- Case of a student organization

  • University of Florida (FL)

I am Ashpreet Kaur, final year PhD student at University of Florida. I got a chance to become a member of a student organization at University of Florida who does ...

  • Posted April 27, 2023
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Waste Diversion at Creighton Softball Game

  • Creighton University (NE)

Hattie Ames and Gabby Otero are helping Creighton fans divert their waste from the landfill.

  • Posted April 21, 2023
  • Photographs
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ReWear It Marquette

  • Marquette University (WI)

Student-led monthly clothing swap organization on Marquette University's campus.

  • Posted April 18, 2023
  • Case Studies
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Directory of Programs that Save Leftover Food After Events

  • University of California, Merced (CA)

There has been increasing interest in programs which address leftover food at events. As the coordinator of one such program, No Food Left Behind, I receive regular inquiries from other ...


Sustainable Move Out Donation Program

  • Bentley University (MA)

Give ‘N Go Move Out Program at Bentley University Fall 2022 Update

Summary: Give ‘N Go is the Bentley program to support students during move out with the opportunity to ...


Zero Waste Master Plan

  • Vanderbilt University (TN)

In September 2015, Vanderbilt embarked on a strategic planning process FutureVU to create a holistic and sustainable long-term vision for the physical development of the campus over 20 to 30 ...

  • Posted Dec. 16, 2022
  • Publications
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Campus-Scale Biodiesel Production

  • Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (AL)
  • Lake Area Technical Institute (SD)
  • Seward County Community College (KS)
  • Springboard Biodiesel (CA)
  • University of Costa Rica
  • University of Botswana

This a compilation highlighting 5 schools that are using Biodiesel production as part of their climate action plans. Each school has diverted waste by using used cooking oil (already produced ...

  • Posted Nov. 21, 2022
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Valparaiso University Waste Audit: Reducing Plastic

  • Valparaiso University (IN)

The Office of Sustainability at Valparaiso University recently performed a comprehensive waste audit of all campus buildings to identify opportunities to save money, reduce waste, and to promote better waste ...

  • Posted Nov. 10, 2022
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University of Botswana in Gaborone converts Trichilia seed into Biodiesel

  • Springboard Biodiesel (CA)
  • University of Botswana

The University of Botswana in Gaborone converts used cooking oils (produced at the University) as well as beef tallow, and trichilia seed. Trichilia seed is an inedible native seed that ...


University of Costa Rica makes biodiesel from Jack Fruit seed oil

  • Springboard Biodiesel (CA)
  • University of Costa Rica

In celebration of Campus Sustainability Month here is the University of Costa Rica in San Jose. They are conducting research on various inedible indigenous seed oils including jack fruit seed ...


2022 EarthFest at the University of Maryland, College Park

  • University of Maryland, College Park (MD)

Sustainability-minded students at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) hosted an Earth Day festival in 2022. EarthFest 2022 invited student sustainability leaders and volunteers from more than twenty groups ...


College Park Scholars Waste Audit

  • University of Maryland, College Park (MD)

Students in the College Park Scholars Program complete a waste audit at the University of Maryland, College Park.


Waste Management at OSU

  • Oregon State University (OR)

Photos for the 2022 Sustainable Campus Index (SCI), Top Performer in Waste section


Princeton Builds Sustainability

  • Princeton University (NJ)

Princeton recycles at least 95% of its materials in construction and demolition projects, while investing in water-saving and emissions-reducing technologies in and around its new buildings such as the construction ...


UMN Morris student recycling cardboard at campus recycling center

  • University of Minnesota, Morris (MN)

UMN Morris students staff the Recycling Center. The picture shows a UMN Morris student breaking down boxes before they are compressed and stored for future recycling.


UMN Morris intern giving a tour of the new Morris Water Treatment Plant

  • University of Minnesota, Morris (MN)

UMN Morris intern (Michael Abbing) provides a tour of the Morris Water Treatment Plant for visitors. This new water treatment plant is a collaboration between the city of Morris, and ...


UMN Morris works with partners to launch county-wide composting program

  • University of Minnesota, Morris (MN)

UMN Morris helped launch the new countywide composing program. UMN Morris hit a milestone of diverting 1 million pounds of organic material from the landfill with its onsite cold-weather system ...


Sustainable Catering@Penn

  • University of Pennsylvania (PA)

Sustainable Catering@Penn - A newly designed webpage at University of Pennsylvania provides search functionality for information about Penn’s Preferred Contract Caterers. Through Catering@Penn, users can now search for ...


Brainstorming Session: Reducing Waste During Campus Move-Outs (pt 2) & Move-Ins

  • AASHE (MA)

Join this brainstorming session and meet with peers to discuss everything from community partners to communications to student helpers and more. Come prepared to share, listen, or both.

The first ...

  • Posted July 28, 2022
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Brainstorming Session: Reducing Waste During Campus Move-Outs

  • University of Virginia (VA)
  • AASHE (MA)

Join this brainstorming session and meet with peers to discuss everything from community partners to communications to student helpers and more. Come prepared to share, listen, or both.

  • Posted June 24, 2022
  • Videos & Webinars
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Sustainable Fashion Production

  • George Brown College (ON)

This Sustainable Fashion Production graduate certificate program prepares graduates to apply sustainability to the pre-production and manufacturing process for apparel. Pre-production analysis, selection of appropriate techniques and technology, flow and ...

  • Posted June 10, 2022
  • Academic Programs
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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.

All responses reference content from reports under the latest version of STARS, version 2.2. AASHE membership and log-in is required.

OP 18: Waste Minimization & Diversion

OP 19: Construction & Demolition Waste Diversion

OP 20: Hazardous Waste Management

Additional analysis on scores and quantitative fields can be conducted using the STARS Benchmarking Tool.

Waste Partners