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

907 resources

College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC) Campus Recycling Workshop

  • Appalachian State University (NC)
  • Clemson University (SC)

The annual CURC Workshop provides opportunities for attendees to network with Campus Recyclers from around the country, hear presentations from and interact with national experts, and participate in roundtable discussions ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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True Zero Waste - The Last 10%

  • College of Charleston (SC)
  • Medical University of South Carolina (SC)
  • University of North Carolina, Wilmington (NC)
  • Eco-Products (CO)

By many definitions, achieving Zero Waste requires a 90% diversion rate of all discarded materials from being land-filled or incinerated. Diverting the last 10% is complex, challenging, and potentially costly ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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On-Campus Composting: How to Start, Evolve, and Overcome Challenges

  • Colorado State University (CO)
  • Fort Lewis College (CO)
  • Princeton University (NJ)
  • St. John's University, New York (NY)
  • Western Michigan University (MI)

Is your campus considering starting an on-site composting program, but doesn't know where to start or which system to choose? Or does your campus want to evolve its program ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Closed-Loop Mechanical Recycling of Polylactic Acid Filament in 3D Printing Labs

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

3D Printing has furthered innovation at UC Berkeley by providing access to new research methods and tools. However, considering the benefits of 3D printing, the large amount of plastic waste ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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EcoCoin Program as an Effective Alternative to Banning Plastic Bags

  • University of Connecticut (CT)

On a small scale, localized bans and ordinances against single use plastic bags present many challenges: How will it impact local businesses' bottom line? Will customers go elsewhere? Who enforces ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Sustainable Economy in Labs: I2SL's Landfill Diversion Working Group Pursues Upstream Dysfunction

  • Emory University (GA)
  • University of Georgia (GA)

Researcher time is for research! Join us in calling for upstream innovations to build a circular economy and protect valuable scholar time! Achieving sustainability in laboratory settings with regard to ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Our Community Composting Project

  • University of Louisville (KY)

The University of Louisville Community Composting Project has been creating compost with and for the community for the past ten years. Sourcing our organic material from local coffee shops, restaurants ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Worm Poop Creates Sustainable Economy!

  • University of Louisville (KY)

After almost fifteen years of trying to turn worm poop into sustainable community and economy, the good news is that this is possible. It's a good deal of work ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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MOVING to Zero Waste: Diverting from Res Hall Move-Out Using Community Resources and Partnerships

  • The Ohio State University (OH)

Residence halls across the United States struggle with the amount of waste that is left behind by students when they leave for the summer, particularly at large, midwestern research institutions ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Outdoor Waste Receptacle Removal: A Creative Approach to Waste Management

  • Indiana University Bloomington (IN)

Institutions across the country have found success in strategically phasing out outdoor waste receptacles and focusing their waste efforts on the management of indoor waste streams. Though perhaps counterintuitive to ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Weigh the Waste: Assessing Food Waste at Winthrop University

  • Winthrop University (SC)

Food waste makes up nearly half of all municipal solid waste produced in the United States. EPA estimates that 40% of all food produced for human consumption is wasted. The ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Raising Food Waste Awareness in Residential Halls - Michigan State University

  • Michigan State University (MI)

A large factor in creating a more sustainable economy will come from changes in human behavior with an effort to live more sustainability. Part of this change will be individuals ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Clean Plates at State-Raising Food Waste Awareness in Residential Halls at Michigan State University

  • Michigan State University (MI)

Clean Plates at State is a food waste audit conducted in all nine residential dining halls on Michigan State University's campus. This program helps to put environmental sustainability into ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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University of Kentucky Organic Waste Composting Pilot Project: Growing Sustainability Partnerships

  • University of Kentucky (KY)

In 2019, the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, UK Dining, Aramark, UK Physical Plant (Waste, Recycling, & Grounds), and UK Sustainability began a strategic partnership ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Don't Let it Go to Waste: Three Scrappy Strategies for Managing Food Waste and Organics in Kentucky

  • University of Kentucky (KY)
  • University of Louisville (KY)
  • Western Kentucky University (KY)
  • Aramark (PA)

Food waste is all too often seen as nothing more than 'trash.' Yet capturing food waste for positive transformation can and should be a key component of campus sustainability efforts ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Closing the Loop: Connecting Education and Operations with a Food Waste Dehydrator Project

  • Western Technical College (WI)

In October 2018, in order to meet our sustainability goals and provide relevant connections to coursework in several of our program areas, Western Technical College student government and the facilities ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Fighting Irish, Fighting Food Waste: Converting Food Waste into Energy at Notre Dame

  • University of Notre Dame (IN)

Nearly 40% of all food in the United States goes uneaten, and 95% of all wasted food winds up in the landfill. At Notre Dame, food and hospitality is a ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Social Sustainability at NAU: Implementing Menstrual Cups on Campus

  • Northern Arizona University (AZ)

This presentation describes an initiative carried out in Spring of 2019 at Northern Arizona University (NAU) that made free menstrual cups available to the NAU student body. The NAU Green ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Pursuing Zero Waste Goals Through Student-Led Projects

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

Implementing a closed loop waste processing system at University of California, Berkeley is of high priority to achieving the campus' and the larger UC system's goal of reaching Zero ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Zero Waste

  • 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 Dec. 4, 2019
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A Proven Upstream Funding Model for Waste Management from the University of Kentucky

  • University of Kentucky (KY)

The University of Kentucky funds several of its materials management programs by charging all university accounts a disposal fee each time they purchase materials and supplies. This system has been ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Planning for Zero Waste and Beyond

  • Indiana University Bloomington (IN)
  • Stanford University (CA)
  • Cascadia Consulting Group, Inc. (WA)

Zero waste has been the ultimate goal for many campus recycling and sustainability departments for the last two decades. Stanford has made great strides towards this target, increasing its landfill ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Piloting a Pay-As-You-Throw Program at an Institution of Higher Education

  • Yale University (CT)

In January 2019, Yale University launched a Pay As You Throw (PAYT) pilot program, the first of its kind at an institution of higher education within the United States. PAYT ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Game Changer: How Recyclemania Caused Lasting Change in Facilities

  • University of Houston (TX)

Participation in Recyclemania, a yearly recycling competition between campuses, has become fairly standard in the world of higher education sustainability efforts. While the competition itself is great for awareness building ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Driving Zero Waste Programming with Data in Dorms and Dining at Stanford

  • Stanford University (CA)

Stanford is on the path to zero waste by 2030. Stanford's Residential & Dining Enterprises represents one-third of the campus where over 12,000 students live and eat. In ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Promoting Sustainable Behavior Through the use of Personal Recycling Bins in Residential Halls

  • Oklahoma State University (OK)

College campuses provide a unique stage for waste diversion and sustainability efforts, especially in on campus housing. As students from all over the nation and world come and go from ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Small Changes Make a Big Impact: Sustainability Matters with Today's Students

  • Boxed Water is Better (MI)

In today's environment, there is more discussion than ever about sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic and single-use aluminium. However, there is even more confusion about what steps each of ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Breaking the Disposable Mindset: How to Reuse Garment Waste on University Campuses

  • University of Louisville (KY)

Textile waste has become one of the leading issues in sustainability. With millions of tons of this waste produced annually, it can begin to seem as if there's no ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Help Your Campus POP (Pass on Plastic): An Applied Research Project to Evaluate Behavior Change

  • University of Kentucky (KY)

In 2018, the University of Kentucky launched a campaign called 'UK POPs' (Passes on Plastics) as a combined effort of the campus offices of UK Dining, Recycling, and Sustainability. UK ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Reducing Waste on Campus Through Reusable Bags

  • University of Denver (CO)

Plastic banners used for advertising purposes often end up in the landfill after being used. To prevent this waste, we partnered with Mile High Workshop to re-purpose these banners into ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Learning From Failure: Designing an Accessible Waste Management System

  • Humber College (ON)

Along with institutions around the world, Humber College in Toronto Canada (over 31,000 full-time students on two campuses), continues to struggle to reduce and manage waste effectively. In 2017 ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Managing (and Surviving) a Paradigm Shift to Achieve Zero Waste - Infrastructure, Process & Culture

  • University of California, Los Angeles (CA)
  • CleanRiver Recycling Solutions (ON)

Right-sizing and streamlining waste management infrastructure, while rolling out operational programs is essential in reducing contamination and increasing community engagement. Attendees will hear a case study on UCLA's journey ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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The Compost Catastrophe: Our Adventure to Residence Hall Composting at Appalachian State University

  • Appalachian State University (NC)

Appalachian State University has been composting on campus since 1999 and has grown and developed into one of the most successful programs in the country. Our facility has the ability ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Waste Reduction - Connecting the Student Experience, Academics, and Sustainability

  • Wayne State University (MI)

Wayne State University embarked upon an expansive campus-wide waste reduction program to support the goals of the Strategic Plan and Sustainability Plan. These planning documents call for increased operational efficiency ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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A Zero Waste Campus is Possible!

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

In this workshop we will facilitate a discussion around how students can lead specific efforts to solve waste issues on their campuses. We start with a short presentation on the ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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The Compost Stewards Program: A Case Study in Campus Composting

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

This informational session will describe the Compost Stewards Program operated by the Office of Sustainability at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This program originated from a proposal to our campus Green ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Waste Not, Want Not: How Campus Waste Reduction Becomes Part of the Circular Economy

  • University of Washington, Seattle (WA)
  • University of Washington, Tacoma (WA)

Rising carbon emissions and the increasing visibility of waste from our linear system of production and consumption have precipitated urgent conversations about how to grow an effective circular economy. Aimed ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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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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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

7 Rivers Recycling

Onalaska, WI
Business Affiliate
7 Rivers Recycling (7RR) is a triple-bottom-line business that recycles mattresses through manual deconstruction.

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.

Eco-Products

Boulder, CO
Business Affiliate
Green Is All We Do. A leader in environmentally preferable foodservice packaging.

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.

The Campus Kitchens Project

Washington, DC
Business Affiliate
Empowering students to create innovative and sustainable solutions to food waste and hunger.