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

872 resources

A Solar-Powered Automatic Composter: Students Combine Engineering, Science and Community Engagement

  • University of Houston - Downtown (TX)

The University of Houston-Downtown's Center for Urban Agriculture and Sustainability (CUAS) has a number of student initiatives focused at creating future sustainability leaders. One area of focus is to ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Recycling Communications and Behavior Change

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)
  • Thompson Rivers University (BC)

At Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, much work has been done to reduce waste, divert it from landfills, and improve the integrity of waste streams. Still ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Diverting Waste, Fostering Community, and Making "Used" Useful

  • Earlham College (IN)

In recent years, the Earlham College Student Sustainability Corps has experienced success and growth in their waste diversion programs. These include a permanent Free Store, a yearly Move-Out Program, and ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Good as New: A Discussion on Reducing Waste While Increasing Equity

  • The New School (NY)

For the past three years, the Tishman Environment and Design Center at The New School has coordinated and executed a free sale event for students called 'Good as New' in ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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E-Waste: A Catalyst for Campus Innovation and Collaboration

  • Temple University (PA)
  • University of Montana (MT)

Electronic waste is increasingly recognized as the fastest growing component of our waste stream and presents a global challenge that will continue to grow as technology advances. So, how do ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Beyond Diversion: The New Zero Waste Roadmap Strategy - PLAN's Atlas Project

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

While diversion has been the go-to metric for evaluating our waste reduction efforts, it skips over several levels of the waste reduction hierarchy, resulting in the prioritization of recycling and ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Dishing the Dirt: Challenges and Successes with Campus Compost

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)
  • US Composting Council (MD)

What's the difference between windrows and in-vessel composting? What's the story with PLA? How do you build successful source separation? Whether you're revamping your compost collection system ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Implementing a Better Deskside Recycling System

  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) (IN)
  • Busch Systems (ON)

A 2015 Keep America Beautiful study found that converting deskside waste collection to a system of small trash baskets alongside a regular-size recycling bin could improve recovery and decrease contamination ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Green Behaviors and Preferences Among College Students

  • Manhattan College (NY)

Our article contributes to the literature by investigating college students' environmental preferences and behavior by investigating their recycling attitudes and frequencies, their preference between tap versus bottled water, their willingness ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Breaking the Cycle of Convenience Culture: Inspiring Accountability Through Ownership

  • KeepCup (CA)

College and university campuses are not closed systems. The population changes day to day, depending on class, staff, and vendor schedules and activities. With an ever-changing population with diverse needs ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Building Bridges Through Reuse

  • Indiana University Bloomington (IN)

For this session, the presenters will focus on the Hoosier to Hoosier Sale at Indiana University Bloomington (IU). The Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale is a reuse program that aims ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Food Waste to Energy: Partnering with Dining Halls for Waste Diversion and Electrical Production

  • Central Connecticut State University (CT)

Central CT State University has partnered with our food service vendor to collect food waste from our dining halls. The waste is brought to nearby Quantum BioPower where it produces ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Food Insecurity, Recovery, and Redistribution: Sustainable Food Practices for Institutions

  • Bemidji State University (MN)

Bemidji State University finds itself in a paradoxical struggle: many of our students struggle with food insecurity, but we are so overwhelmed by an excess of food that much of ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Closing the Loop on Food Waste: Leftovers From Catered Events Feed Hungry Students

  • Northern Arizona University (AZ)

Food waste at catered events is an issue we see so often as most event planners tend to over order, while at the same time we see a growth in ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Paper and Plug Load Energy Reduction: How Focusing on two Issues Broadened our Reach

  • Red River College (MB)

In the current climate of fiscal restraint faced by many post-secondary institutions, it can be challenging for Sustainability Offices to advance their reach and impact with new programs and initiatives ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Award Winner Session: Food Waste Digester Project: An Ongoing Collaborative Project Model for Experiential Student Learning

  • Chandler-Gilbert Community College (AZ)

This presentation will focus on The CGCC Food Waste Recycling Project, a grant-funded campus-wide ongoing collaborative project that offers deep, cross-disciplinary, experiential student learning via an innovative solution for CGCC ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Award Winner Session: The High Costs of Sustainable Operations: Institutional Purpose and the Quadruple Bottom Line

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

Increasing sustainability performance and reducing overall operating expenses are broad goals that are simultaneously present at nearly all universities. This paper presents an exploratory case study in which a major ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Reuse Economy in Action: Planning Campus Events to Cultivate a Circular Consumption Culture

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

This workshop will focus on organizing campus events that foster a circular economy of consumption. At Carleton College, we hold two events each year to promote this. The Repair Fair ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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MCURC: Universities Scaling Up Sustainability Together

  • The Culinary Institute of America (NY)
  • Stanford University (CA)
  • AASHE (PA)

The Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC) is a working group of scholars and campus dining leaders from colleges and universities interested in accelerating efforts to move American consumers ...

  • Posted Nov. 13, 2019
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Sustainable tea and tea bags

  • Ohio University (OH)

Ohio University's Office of Sustainability partnered with Ohio University's Environmental Affairs Commission on student senate to host a sustainable tea and tea bag event. This event used loose ...


Towson University Campus Sustainability Week

  • Towson University (MD)

Towson University Campus Sustianability Week contained fun and educational experiences for our students. We had tabling events for composting at home, being more sustainable with our water consumption, pollinator garden ...


Turning the Page: A Behavior Change Toolkit for Reducing Paper Use

  • Portland Community College (OR)
  • AASHE (PA)
  • Root Solutions (CA)

In 2017, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and Root Solutions, with funding from the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, created the Turning the Page ...


Turning the Page: A Behavior Change Toolkit for Reducing Paper Use

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

From 2017-2019, Root Solutions trained more than 20 higher education institutions in how to use behavioral insights to save paper. Based on real-world experiences at these institutions as well as ...

  • Posted Oct. 24, 2019
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Webinar: Off-Campus Move Outs… Moving in the Right Direction

  • University of Cincinnati (OH)
  • AASHE (PA)

Many colleges and universities have mastered on-campus move-out diversion, but off-campus student move-out is a much less tackled problem. Apartments, condos and single-family homes located off-campus generate different (and often ...

  • Posted Oct. 3, 2019
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Montclair University's Green Team tackles Styrofoam Recycling

  • Montclair State University (NJ)
  • Foam Cycle LLC (NJ)

This summer, Foam Cycle and the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority (SCMUA) were awarded a Green Team from Montclair State University (MSU) to study a foam packaging (aka Styrofoam) recycling ...


University of Vermont Eco-Reps Points of Intervention Campaign Case Study

  • University of Vermont (VT)

Every Spring semester, the UVM Eco-Reps carry out a campaign related to the main theme of Earth Week. This year, that theme was ‘Points of Intervention’ (POI). Points of Intervention ...

  • Posted Sept. 24, 2019
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University of Vermont Eco-Reps Waste Sorting Campaign Case Study

  • University of Vermont (VT)

While the University of Vermont has improved its waste infrastructure, from expanding composting facilities beyond dining halls to implementing waste reduction programs like EcoWare and a straw-upon-request policy, these systems ...

  • Posted Sept. 24, 2019
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State of the Recycling Industry

  • University of South Carolina (SC)
  • University of Oregon (OR)
  • College & University Recycling Coalition (DC)

"State of the Recycling Industry: Education & operations best practices for a challenging recycling market"

Originally took place May 30th 2019

Presenters:

Neil Seldman President, Institute for Local Self-Reliance Topic ...

  • Posted Aug. 22, 2019
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Campus Composting Best Practices

  • Appalachian State University (NC)
  • Princeton University (NJ)
  • University of Louisville (KY)
  • College & University Recycling Coalition (DC)

Campus Composting Best Practices: Strategies for student engagement & food waste and compostable serveware diversion

Program originally took place May 9, 2019

Presenters:

Jen Maxwell, Sustainability Programs Manager Appalachian State ...

  • Posted Aug. 22, 2019
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Mapping Your Waste Stream and What to Do With It

  • College & University Recycling Coalition (DC)

Part of the College and University Recycling Coalition's free webinar series designed to share technical knowledge between program managers, student interns and others involved with promoting waste reduction on ...

  • Posted Aug. 19, 2019
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EPA Game Day Challenge

  • Bowdoin College (ME)

Bowdoin's Green Athletics club provided education about waste reduction and composting during Bowdoin's EPA Game Day Challenge event.


Bowdoin College Give and Go Moveout

  • Bowdoin College (ME)

Sustainable Bowdoin student employees help gather unwanted items from residence halls at the end of the school year, with much of the material being donated to Goodwill of northern new ...


Students composting at dining hall

  • Butler University (IN)

Collaboration to Scale Food Waste Collection - Butler University partnered with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on a food waste compost collection route, making it affordable to use a large waste hauler ...


AASHE Members Receive a Year of Syllabi as part of #GreenSyllabusChallenge

  • Syllabi

AASHE members get a free year of Syllabi as part of their #GreenSyllabusChallenge. Syllabi is a digital syllabus-based student planner that aggregates all course curriculum and due dates to the ...


Journey to Zero Waste

  • California State University, San Marcos (CA)

This is an annual event, previously celebrated as Thank You for Recycling Day. This year the program was re-branded as Journey to Zero Waste Day to encourage not just recycling ...

  • Posted May 22, 2019
  • Outreach Materials
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Green Events Guide

  • California State University, Northridge (CA)

What does it mean to put on a “Green Event”? What does it mean to be sustainable? Greening your event means to incorporate a wide spectrum of environmental, social, and ...

  • Posted May 22, 2019
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A Plan for Plastic Waste Reduction

  • Otterbein University (OH)

Since April 2018, Otterbein University has made steps to become more sustainable by reduce plastic waste and promoting reusable water bottles. The university added 30 bottle fill stations to campus ...


No Impact Meal - A More Mindful Dinner

  • Loyola University Chicago (IL)

The No Impact Meal (NIM) program is transforming our relationship with food on campus, one meal at a time. Led by a group of sustainability interns since the spring of ...

  • Posted May 22, 2019
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The Pyramid of Action: A Multifaceted Approach For Deeper Engagement

  • California State University, Chico (CA)

With many environmental issues overwhelming students today, it can be paralyzing. So, AS Sustainability utilized the “Pyramid of Action” strategy in semester-long campaigns, leading students from awareness, behavior change, education ...


CU Boulder Animal Bedding Compost

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)

Animal vivariums on college campuses generate a significant amount of animal bedding waste every day. CU Boulder houses only small animal vivariums (mice, rats, etc.). The animal bedding generated at ...


The Searle Biodiesel Lab - Loyola University Chicago's Student-Run Biodiesel Program

  • Loyola University Chicago (IL)

The Biodiesel Lab is a student-run biodiesel production facility within Loyola University’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability. Starting from a single student’s idea over a decade ago, nearly 100 ...


Composting at Northwestern University Norris Center

  • Northwestern University (IL)
  • Real Food Challenge (MA)
  • Compass Group (NC)

The project consists of the successful implementation of a front-of-the-house composting program in Northwestern University's Norris Center food court dining area and the coordination of a series of experiments ...


Fighting Irish, Fighting Food Waste: Converting Food Waste into Energy at Notre Dame

  • University of Notre Dame (IN)

At Notre Dame food and hospitality are integral aspects of campus culture. Over the last three years, two student-centered projects aimed at fighting food waste will allow Notre Dame to ...


TRUE Zero Waste Platinum Certification, Chou Hall

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

Connie and Kevin Chou Hall is the newest building addition to the UC Berkeley Haas Business School. It is the first academic building in the world to achieve US Green ...


Rheaply AxM: Making Assets Happy Again

  • Rheaply, Inc (IL)

A one minute video depicting the state of resource management in academia, and how circular thinking can be applied to asset management with Rheaply's AxM.

Rheaply’s Asset Exchange ...

  • Posted May 20, 2019
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A New Zero Waste Goal for Division 1 Football Games

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

Lauren Lichterman, the Operations and Sustainability Coordinator for Intercollegiate Athletics at The University of Texas at Austin, is not one to stop and rest on her laurels. She used a ...


The Good Store

  • University of Northern British Columbia (BC)
  • Prince George Public Interest Research Group (BC)

The Good Store is a low waste shop established on the UNBC campus to provide all members of the community with access to affordable, healthy and sustainable food options. The ...


McHenry County College Composts! (Finally!)

  • McHenry County College (IL)

Composting has been a goal of the MCC Board of Trustees approved Sustainability Strategic Plan since 2012 and 2015. Based on a waste audit done several years ago, MCC’s ...


Dollar Coffee Club

  • University of Montana- Missoula (MT)

The intent of the Dollar Coffee Club (DCC) is to leverage the powerful appeal of one dollar coffee to incentivize customers to participate in sustainability efforts through a quid pro ...


NSCC Waste Diversion Initiative

  • Nova Scotia Community College (NS)

After establishing a baseline for the College’s waste diversion rates at our thirteen Campuses across the Province of Nova Scotia, NSCC’s sustainability office coordinated a waste diversion campaign ...

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.

Eagle Protect PBC

South Lake Tahoe, CA
Business Affiliate
Eagle Protect helps reduce waste with high-quality disposable gloves and clothing products.

Foam Cycle LLC

Augusta, NJ
Business Affiliate
Foam Cycle is the first patent-pending foam (aka Styrofoam) collection, densifying and recycling system. Our goal is to assist your school in its sustainability goals or to start a Circular Economy Recycling program.

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.