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

A Comms Plan for Running a Waste Reduction Engagement in your University

  • University of London

Over the last three years at Reduce the Juice we’ve learnt a lot about running successful behaviour change engagements and now want to share what we’ve learnt with ...


Southern Oregon University Dish Loan Program

  • Southern Oregon University (OR)

Southern Oregon University's Ecology and Sustainability Resource Center launched a Dish Loan Program in fall 2017. The Dish Loan Program is a free alternative for campus clubs, organizations, and ...


Improving office recycling

  • Raritan Valley Community College (NJ)

Every semester, the Environmental Science and Sustainability (ENVI201) class studies recycling on campus and comes up with ideas for improvements. Student Deidre Supple had the idea of improving recycling in ...


Food Lab Compost Project

  • West Chester University of Pennsylvania (PA)

This project aims to reduce food waste produced by the West Chester University Food Lab. First, food scraps from the the Food Lab are collected in a sealed bin. Then ...


Renewable Energy for Campus Facilites Services

  • Black Hills State University (SD)

Demonstrating the effectiveness of the use of renewable energy at low costs in campus facilities services vehicles will help Black Hills State University reach its carbon and waste reduction goals ...


Implementation of a Green Labs Program in Campus Laboratories

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham (AL)

UAB Green Labs Program is an institution-wide, voluntary program designed to reduce the university’s carbon output while simultaneously reducing operation costs of research buildings. The program accomplishes its goals ...


The Razorback Food Recovery

  • University of Arkansas (AR)

Food recovery – the practice of preventing surplus foodstuffs from being dumped in the trash – takes numerous forms and provides a variety of social, economic, and environmental benefits. According to the ...


Adding Recycling into Individual Offices

  • South Dakota State University (SD)

2017-2018 has been the year of recycling for South Dakota State University. We looked at recycling levels and determined there was room for improvement. It was determined that availability of ...


Where does it go? Composting at GWU

  • George Washington University (DC)

In February 2018, the George Washington University’s Office of Sustainability and Campaign GW embarked upon a new, risk-taking endeavor to expand access to composting and sustainable food waste across ...

  • Posted May 8, 2018
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Earth Week at Universidad de Monterrey

  • Universidad de Monterrey (NL)

During Earth Week at UDEM, students and staff have the change to participate in different workshops, keynotes and activities that promote the three main topics for this year's Earth ...


Northwestern Promotes Recycling during Earth Month

  • Northwestern University (IL)

Northwestern University celebrates Earth Month throughout April. One of the highlights of the month is Mount Trashmore, and event that calls attention to the amount of waste generated on campus ...


Composting for a Greener Campus: the Texas State University Bobcat Blend program

  • Texas State University, San Marcos (TX)

Bobcat Blend is a faculty managed, student-run and grant-supported research and teaching-oriented waste management campus composting program at Texas State University. The goals of the organization are to teach students ...


Trash Fashion Show 2018

  • Appalachian State University (NC)

Appalachian State and community partners put on a Trash Fashion Show in the new university/Community HOW space. The designers made clothing from items that would have otherwise been discarded ...


Progress toward 90% waste diversion goal

  • Olds College (AB)
  • Bow Valley College (AB)

Bow Valley College has come a long way in terms of waste management in the past four years. In 2014, our waste diversion rate was 19%. In 2018, our diversion ...

  • Posted April 25, 2018
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Waste Reduction Twister at Elon University

  • Elon University (NC)

Elon student and Eco-Rep Tori Ippolito created a twister game which focuses on waste reduction. The spinner indicates different types of materials found on campus, with a guide to indicate ...

  • Posted April 25, 2018
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Zero Waste Pilot at Earth Day Conference, Madison, WI

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

UW-Madison Office of Sustainability (OS) interns Anna Weinberg, Ally Burg, and Noemy Serrano monitor a zero waste station during the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies Earth Day Conference at Monona ...

  • Posted April 25, 2018
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Clothing Swap at UW-Madison

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

Office of Sustainability intern Katie Piel and Outreach Director for the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) Sustainability Committee, Madalynne Bridge, hold piles of clothing donated for the ASM Clothing Swap ...

  • Posted April 25, 2018
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Earth Week activities

  • Dominican University (IL)

During Earth Week we provided various options to participate, from eating meatless meals, enjoying earth yoga, to taking a tour of campus highlighting the green spaces. We tried vegetarian snacks ...

  • Posted April 24, 2018
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AUC EarthWeek 2018: “Collaborate, Create, Cultivate": Growing Green Culture at AUC”

  • American University in Cairo (Cairo)

All Week: - RISE Greenhouse and Aquaponics Display - Description: Have you always wanted to have a green thumb? Come check out what AUC’s brilliant growers at RISE have been cultivating ...

  • Posted April 24, 2018
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NMSU Earth Day volunteers from the College of Business

  • New Mexico State University (NM)

Business Council students volunteered to help out at our Southern New Mexico Earth Day Festival and we couldn't have done it without them. Thank you NMSU students!

  • Posted April 24, 2018
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Creighton University Leads Pledge to End Plastic Pollution

  • Creighton University (NE)

During its Earth Week celebrations, Creighton University's Office of Sustainability Programs led a pledge to end plastic pollution campaign. Earth Day Network's global theme for Earth Day 2018 ...

  • Posted April 23, 2018
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University of Vermont Eco-Reps "Curb Your Consumerism" Campaign

  • University of Vermont (VT)

While the consumption of goods and services is a crucial component of modern economic systems, the culture of consumerism contributes to waste, resource depletion, pollution, and social and economic inequities ...

  • Posted April 23, 2018
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Water Cage at Northeastern University

  • Northeastern University (MA)

Water cage demonstration created on campus quad. Filled large cage with water bottles and attached facts and data about plastic bottle usage around the outside of the cage. Very effective ...

  • Posted April 23, 2018
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Pass Up Plastic Challenge

  • University of New Hampshire (NH)

In celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd, the Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire coordinated a Pass up Plastic Challenge. Students, faculty, and staff collected single-use plastics ...

  • Posted April 23, 2018
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UC Merced Engineers for a Sustainable World

  • University of California, Merced (CA)

UC Merced's Engineer's for a Sustainable World talk to students, staff and faculty about current projects including aquaponics.

  • Posted April 23, 2018
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Food Wasting Attitudes and Behaviours Among Residence Meal Hall Users at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

  • Dalhousie University (NS)

Dalhousie University has undertaken multiple initiatives in recent years to produce less food waste within their dining halls. This study aimed to develop a relation between the attitudes and behaviours ...

  • Posted April 11, 2018
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Innovative Solutions for Reducing Waste at Skidmore College: Analyzing the Carbon Footprint & Economics of Paper Towels vs. Electric Hand Dryers

  • Skidmore College (NY)

The purpose of this capstone project is to create the most culminating analysis of all of the available hand drying methodologies, and utilize this research in order to integrate the ...

  • Posted April 6, 2018
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Mission Zero Waste with Waste Management

  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Central Office (NJ)
  • AASHE (PA)
  • Waste Management (TX)

In this free, one-hour webinar, you will hear about Waste Management's Think Green ® Campus Model, a comprehensive framework to help universities improve diversion, drive toward zero waste, and make ...

  • Posted April 3, 2018
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Solid waste generation and characterization in the University of Lagos for a sustainable waste management

  • University of Lagos

Waste characterization is the first step to any successful waste management policy. In this paper, the characterization and the trend of solid waste generated in University of Lagos, Nigeria was ...

  • Posted March 29, 2018
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Sustainability and Civic Engagement: A Communications Engagement and Education Plan

  • Bridgewater State University (MA)

Across the United States primarily on a town or city basis, the increasing public awareness and understanding of the detrimental impact of human activity on the environment is fostering the ...

  • Posted March 22, 2018
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Putting “Reduce” to Work: Getting Rid of Plastic Bags on Michigan State University’s Campus

  • Michigan State University (MI)

In order to mitigate the effects of plastic bags on the environment and to fulfill Michigan State University's commitment to sustainability, we pioneered a two part initiative to reduce ...

  • Posted March 19, 2018
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AASHE Award Winner Series - Composting, Recycling and Turning Trash Into Cash

  • Austin Community College (TX)
  • University of San Diego (CA)
  • AASHE (PA)

Andy Kim, Director, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability and Darien Clary, Sustainability Coordinator, Austin Community College District (Winner of AASHE 2014 Best Case Study from an Associate College with 5,000 ...

  • Posted March 12, 2018
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University of Vermont Eco-Reps Composting Campaign

  • University of Vermont (VT)

At the University of Vermont (UVM), the Recycling and Waste Management program and the UVM Eco-Reps have identified a lack of understanding of composting within on-campus residential halls. Although composting ...

  • Posted March 5, 2018
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University of Vermont Eco-Reps "EcoWare, Everywhere!" Campaign

  • University of Vermont (VT)

The University of Vermont (UVM) implemented reusable EcoWare to-go containers in retail locations 2011. Data collected from the past 4 years has shown that EcoWare uses became concentrated in residential ...

  • Posted March 5, 2018
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Engaging Chemeketa Community College through Collaborative Community Art with an International Focus

  • Chemeketa Community College (OR)

For the 2017 Earth Day event, Chemeketa created a collaborative Earth Day Art Installation based on the story of Sadako Sasaki and the 1,000 paper cranes. Sustainability, the Associated ...

  • Posted March 5, 2018
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Recovery and Reuse; On-Campus and Off

  • Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)

Many of the challenges sustainability seeks to address can be challenging to visualize. Moreover, the scale of these challenges can stifle the motivation to act before one even begins. These ...

  • Posted March 5, 2018
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Gendered citizenship and the individualization of environmental responsibility: evaluating a campus common reading program

  • Washington State University, Pullman (WA)

Campus common reading programs are intended to stimulate critical thinking and dialogue across disciplines yet scarce evidence exists to evaluate the success of such programs. We assess the extent to ...

  • Posted Feb. 28, 2018
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Point Loma Nazarene University's Food Recovery Network

  • Point Loma Nazarene University (CA)

Point Loma Nazarene University’s Food Recovery Network was started by a student as a means of reducing food waste on campus as well as supporting the local community. With ...

  • Posted Feb. 28, 2018
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Creating a Healthy, Environmentally Responsible and Socially Just Campus Food System

  • California State University, Northridge (CA)

Description In 2016, a year-long study release by the California State University (CSU) found that 24 percent of our system's 460,000 students were food insecure. To address this ...

  • Posted Feb. 28, 2018
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In-Vessel Composting Trials – Ingeo Compostable Products

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

Arizona State University's University Sustainability Practices office partnered with a variety of ASU departments, NatureWorks, LLC, the City of Tempe, and DTEnvironmental to test the compostability of compostable serviceware ...

  • Posted Feb. 15, 2018
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Corrugated Pallets: How Campus Procurement Policies Can Drive National Change to Reduce Emissions, Advance Zero Waste, and Protect Employees

  • Change the Pallet (OR)

Change the Pallet is a national non-profit dedicated to reducing carbon emissions massively through education and advocacy with respect to the tremendous environmental benefits of corrugated paper pallets vs. traditional ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
  • Conference Presentations
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16 Billion Trees Fell Last Year, Is Anyone Listening?

  • TreeZero Paper (GA)

Poster will detail impacts and risks of deforestation; opportunities for reducing paper use and example of easy solution to add to your sustainability efforts to reduce impact on deforestation, climate ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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What Paper Manufacturers Know About Environmental Impact that Customers Aren't Asking About

  • Kimberly-Clark Professional (GA)

In this session we will examine some key environmental considerations that are often overlooked during procurement decisions. Specifically, we will focus on the manufacturing and waste footprint created by consumable ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Fix It Friday

  • Illinois State University (IL)

Fix It Friday is a program at Illinois State University in which students majoring in the Fashion Design and Merchandising program set up sewing machines in various locations around campus ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Consumer Recycling Attitudes and Behaviors

  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)

Keep America Beautiful conducted a nationwide survey in October 2016 to study people's recycling attitudes and behaviors. The goal of the project was to better understand how to overcome ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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CURC Campus Recycling & Materials Management Survey

  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)

The College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC) is conducting a national survey to document recycling and sustainable materials management (SMM) trends and practices at North American colleges and universities. The ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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CURC Campus Recycling Workshop

  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)

Join recycling and sustainability colleagues from campuses across the US and Canada for the annual CURC Workshop. This year's workshop will be hosted by the University of the Incarnate ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC) Membership Meeting

  • University of South Carolina (SC)

Members and non-members alike are invited to join this annual CURC membership meeting. Board members will provide organizational updates, discuss current projects and share opportunities to get involved. The meeting ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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Diversion Drama: A Waste Study in Residence Halls

  • Skidmore College (NY)

This spring the Skidmore Sustainability Office launched a waste study for four residence halls, which house a fourth of the on-campus student population. Preliminary waste assessments indicated that 50-60% of ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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RightCycle: Comprehensive Recycling System at Arizona State University

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

Although many products are potentially eligible for recycling, a countless number of recyclable products is being thrown away in trash bins in which ends up in landfills. There are abundant ...

  • Posted Dec. 1, 2017
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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

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.