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

Earth Week at Portland Community College - Rock Creek Campus 2019

  • Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus (OR)

Carolina de Aguair Martins, Associated Students of Portland Community College Sustainability & Eco Justice Program Specialist, lead a team of energetic students group to create a sculpture to bring attention ...


The Chemistry Behind Composting

  • Harper College (IL)

Harper College Facilities Management partnered with Harper’s Chemistry Department to begin a compost collection and research program on campus. Compost bins were built in-house on Harper’s grounds for ...


#LoveAMug: Reinvigorating a Reusable Mug Program

  • Princeton University (NJ)

In 2003, Princeton University Campus Dining (CD) introduced a 25 cent reusable mug discount in retail operations. Over the years, the program became stagnant and was applied to an average ...


Chandler-Gilbert Community College Food Waste Recycling Project

  • Chandler-Gilbert Community College (AZ)
  • Maricopa County Community College District Office (AZ)

The CGCC Food Waste Recycling Project is a grant-funded campus-wide ongoing collaborative project that offers deep, cross-disciplinary, experiential student learning via an innovative solution for CGCC’s food and green ...


Fill Plates, Not Landfills: Implementing the Bobcat Eats Food Waste Awareness and Prevention Program

  • University of California, Merced (CA)

The Bobcat Eats Food Waste Awareness and Prevention Program is a collaboration between the University of California, Merced (UC Merced) and the Merced County Food Bank to reduce food waste ...


Starting a Sustainable Revolution 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 environmental footprint while simultaneously reducing operating costs of research buildings. The program accomplishes its goals ...


Addressing Compost Contamination Through Systems Thinking

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

Discover UW-Madison’s compost collection journey! The UW-Madison (UW) began composting its food scraps at its agricultural research station just off campus in 2009. Since then, the UW has overcome ...


Reducing Energy Waste via Occupant Behavior: The Role of the Individual in Climate Change Solutions

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)

This study aims to achieve energy waste reductions via the rewiring of human habits as opposed to using technology. In public spaces like university campuses, individuals often remove themselves from ...


Let's Get Sorted: The Path to Zero Waste at Pomona College

  • Pomona College (CA)

This senior thesis in environmental analysis explores the Zero Waste ideal and its practical application to a college campus. Given the growing global trash crisis and its grave environmental, social ...


Healthy Beverage Initiative: UBC Drinks Tap Water

  • University of British Columbia (BC)
  • University of British Columbia Okanagan (BC)

Bottled beverages are packaged in single-use plastic & often loaded with sugar. They're harmful to both our environment and our health.

UBC launched a Healthy Beverage Initiative (HBI) to ...


CSUN Celebrates Earth Month!

  • California State University, Northridge (CA)

To celebrate Earth Day, many campus departments partnered to provide hands-on and immersive events and workshops to students, creating long-lasting impressions about the effects of climate change. Campus-wide initiatives to ...


Making the Most of Meals

  • Harvard University (MA)

Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) established a food donation program in 2014, which includes bulk donation of nutritious foods from residential dining buffets (approximately 27,000 pounds in 2017), as ...


Personal waste management in higher education: A case study illustrating the importance of a fourth bottom line

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

Purpose This paper aims to propose a quadruple bottom line approach for higher education leaders who must decide whether to accept sustainability initiatives that do have not have a business ...


Social and institutional factors affecting sustainability innovation in universities: A computer re-use perspective

  • University of New South Wales (NSW)

With the wave of digitisation sweeping through the higher education sector, end-of-life outcomes for decommissioned computers will pose a serious sustainability challenge for higher education institutions. This challenge presents an ...


Aim2Flourish: Introducing Chicago to the Circular Economy

  • Loyola University Chicago (IL)
  • Rheaply, Inc (IL)
  • United Nations Foundation (NY)

This article highlights how Rheaply is introducing the circular economy, resource sharing, and waste diversion into business models. In this article, Aim2Flourish, the world’s first higher-education, student-run curriculum aimed ...


Up-Cycled Art

  • University of Vermont (VT)

University of Vermont Eco-Reps held an Up-Cycled Art Exhibit as part of our Earth Week. Students were tasked with creating art out of up-cycled objects. The opening reception ended off ...


The Dallas County Community College District Booth Won an Award at EarthX!

  • Brookhaven College - DCCCD (TX)
  • Cedar Valley College - DCCCD (TX)
  • Dallas County Community College District System Office (TX)
  • Eastfield College - DCCCD (TX)
  • El Centro College - DCCCD (TX)
  • Mountain View College - DCCCD (TX)
  • North Lake College - DCCCD (TX)
  • Richland College - DCCCD (TX)

In Dallas TX, we have the biggest annual celebration of Earth Day! At Fair Park EarthX hosted a three day celebration with more than 135,000 attendees, 679 exhibitors and ...


Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) South Campus Earth Day Celebration

  • Community College of Allegheny County (PA)

Students at CCAC's South Campus took an active part in Earth Day celebrations.


Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) North Campus Earth Day Celebration

  • Community College of Allegheny County (PA)

CCAC North Campus Green Team and Creative Arts Club worked together to make artwork driving home the importance of reducing and recycling waste.


Annual Chittenango Creek Clean-Up & Wildlife Shrub Seedling Planting

  • Cazenovia College (NY)

More than 35 people from Cazenovia College's Environmental Club and chapter of Alpha Phi Omega (volunteer/community service group), Trout Unlimited, Cazenovia Preservation Foundation, 4-H, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts ...

  • Posted April 29, 2019
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Earth Day UTea Crush

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

Justin Hays of The University of Texas at Austin’s Landscape Services provides information about U-Tea (pun intended)— compost tea made on campus and bottled in repurposed plastic containers—during ...

  • Posted April 29, 2019
  • Photographs
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Lettuce Bee Sustainable at Dominican University - River Forest, IL

  • Dominican University (IL)

Lettuce Bee Sustainable this Earth Day, Monday, April 22 from Noon to 2:00 pm in the Parmer Atrium.

• Build your own Salad in a Jar. • Taste test vegan Avocado ...

  • Posted April 29, 2019
  • Photographs
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Union College Collaborates with the SEAT Center for an Environmental Justice Event

  • Union College - NY (NY)

Union College Students from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and SEAT Center collaborated on an event to provide free air filter installations, information on free weatherization, and registration for community ...

  • Posted April 29, 2019
  • Photographs
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Bash the Trash Performance at Dominican College

  • Dominican College (NY)

Dominican College kicked off its Earth Week celebration with a performance of Bash the Trash. Bash the Trash builds, performs, and educates with musical instruments made from recycled and reused ...

  • Posted April 29, 2019
  • Photographs
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"A Sustainable Second Century "

  • American University in Cairo (Cairo)

The Office of Sustainability kick off AUC’s EarthWeek, an annual event celebrating international Earth Day. This year’s theme is EarthWeek: A Sustainable Second Century, focusing on the Past ...

  • Posted April 29, 2019
  • Photographs
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Styrofoam Densifying and Waste Diversion

  • Georgia State University (GA)

Styrofoam, one of the most unwieldy and uncooperative forms of waste, came to the forefront of Georgia State University’s sustainability concerns upon evaluating its large volume in the University ...

  • Posted April 29, 2019
  • Case Studies
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UW-Madison Reusable To Go Containers- Ticket to Take Out!

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

Beginning in Fall 2018, all University Housing Dining Markets moved exclusively to a reusable to-go container program for all carry-out food. The goal of this program, named Ticket to Take ...

  • Posted April 29, 2019
  • Case Studies
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Impact of environmental knowledge and product quality on student attitude toward products with recycled/remanufactured content: Implications for environmental education and green manufacturing

  • City University of Hong Kong
  • University of Sheffield
  • Monash University Malaysia

This study investigates the impact of environmental knowledge and perceived product quality on purchasing intention and purchasing behavior of recycled products: A4 paper, mobile phones and printers. The intent is ...

  • Posted March 31, 2019
  • Publications
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How Water Bottle Refill Stations Contribute to Campus Sustainability: A Case Study in Japan

  • Ritsumeikan University

The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility of installing Water bottle Refill Stations (WRSs) and their contributions to campus sustainability by means of encouraging pro-environmental behavior in ...

  • Posted March 30, 2019
  • Publications
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Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Zero Waste Program

  • University of Southern California (CA)

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum has influenced generations across the world through events such as the Olympics, World Series, and Super Bowls as well as community events like papal and ...

  • Posted March 15, 2019
  • Case Studies
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Zero is Hero: Use a Zero Waste Events Program to Re-Teach Recycling

  • Johns Hopkins University (MD)
  • AASHE (PA)

Do you know how many events occur on your campus every year? Can you guess how many of those events use disposables? Do you have a hard time engaging your ...

  • Posted Feb. 21, 2019
  • Videos & Webinars
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Campus Energy and Sustainability Podcast Episode 16: Reducing Waste and Increasing Reuse in Labs at Northwestern University

  • Northwestern University (IL)
  • Rheaply, Inc (IL)

Julie Cahillane, Sustainability Associate Director at Northwestern University and Dr. Garry Cooper, adjunct professor at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine and CEO/Co-founder of Rheaply, Inc..

In this conversation ...

  • Posted Feb. 14, 2019
  • Videos & Webinars
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University of Vermont Dining Services Vendor RFP

  • University of Vermont (VT)
  • Real Food Challenge (MA)

Request for Proposals for the University of Vermont's dining services provider, specifying ways that the Real Food Challenge and other sustainability measures are to be incorporated into the vendor ...


UT Austin Green Labs and Green Offices

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

The Green Offices and Green Labs initiative at University of Texas at Austin aims to transform campus workspaces into more eco-friendly environments. Improvements include reducing overall waste, implementation of collection ...

  • Posted Dec. 21, 2018
  • Conference Presentations
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Providing immediate feedback improves recycling and composting accuracy

  • University of British Columbia (BC)

The volume of solid waste has increased significantly in the past century, directly contributing to global environmental problems. Public engagement with waste sorting is crucial to the diversion of solid ...

  • Posted Dec. 21, 2018
  • Publications
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Toward zero waste events: Reducing contamination in waste streams with volunteer assistance

  • University of British Columbia (BC)

Public festivals and events generate a tremendous amount of waste, especially when they involve food and drink. To reduce contamination across waste streams, we evaluated three types of interventions at ...

  • Posted Dec. 11, 2018
  • Publications
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Atlas: The Road to a Zero Waste Campus

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

The Atlas is an assessment framework to create Zero Waste strategic plans for universities and colleges. We start off by utilizing our extensive Campus Programs Checklist to assess infrastructure, policies ...


Everett Community College Sustainability Volunteer Program Gets People Working

  • Everett Community College (WA)

Video proposal (20 minutes/10 Minute Q&A) Since 2009, The Everett Community College Sustainability Department has teamed with several local agencies to fund a paid 'volunteer' program on campus. Volunteers ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
  • Conference Presentations
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Trash Talking: South Dakota State University's Effort to Increase Campus' Recycling Rate

  • South Dakota State University (SD)

Like most universities, it is not unusual to find trash and recycling in the wrong bin at South Dakota State University. Sparked by SDSU's STARS 2016 report, the campus ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
  • Conference Presentations
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CURC Campus Recycling Workshop

  • Busch Systems (ON)

Join recycling and sustainability colleagues from campuses across the US and Canada for the annual CURC Campus Recycling Workshop. This year's workshop will take place alongside other AASHE pre-conference ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
  • Conference Presentations
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7+ Ways Institutions of Higher Education are Generating Revenue while Diverting Waste from Landfills

  • AssetWorks (PA)

From coast-to-coast, institutions of higher education are engaging in creative ways to divert waste from landfills while generating revenue for their colleges and universities. With the increasing pressure for institutions ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Gameday Waste Minimization

  • University of Arizona (AZ)
  • University of Rochester (NY)

The University of Arizona will share the success story of their student-run program working to ingrain zero waste practices within athletic events. This workshop will describe the trials and tribulations ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
  • Conference Presentations
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Successes in Assessing and Reducing Food Waste Through Behavior Change

  • Skidmore College (NY)
  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

Skidmore College, a small private liberal arts college, and UT Austin, a large public university, will share their experiences successfully assessing and minimizing food waste through behavioral changes in on-campus ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
  • Conference Presentations
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Move Out Solutions With William & Mary's DormMania and the Post-Landfill Action Network

  • College of William & Mary (VA)
  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

Join the Post Landfill Action Network (PLAN) and William & Mary in a discussion about reducing waste during campus move-out! Students throw away tons of usable items every year during ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
  • Conference Presentations
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The Evolution of Campus Composting Programs

  • Georgia College & State University (GA)
  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)
  • University of Michigan (MI)
  • Ramboll (NY)

This session will be lead by a team of presenters offering perspectives and experiences from different angels of compost program implementation. Presenters will share achievements, setbacks, and lessons learned on ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
  • Conference Presentations
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Do Dorm Move-Out Waste Reduction Programs Really Reduce Carbon Emissions?

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

A team of engineering researchers at the University of Arizona, led by Dr. Paul Blowers and undergraduate student Nick Deak, measured the carbon footprint associated with materials collected during a ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
  • Conference Presentations
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Measuring Success - Auditing the Zero Waste Process

  • Medical University of South Carolina (SC)

At the Medical University of South Carolina we, like many campuses, are constantly improving our waste system in an effort to strive for 'Zero Waste'. During the 2016 RecycleMania competition ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
  • Conference Presentations
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Stadium Clean-up: Invest in & Engage Student Organizations, Promote Sustainability, Reduce Costs

  • Western Kentucky University (KY)

The Diddle/Smith Recycling Program engages student organizations to clean the arena/stadium after football and basketball games, as well as other special events. In exchange for cleaning, volunteers receive ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
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Integrated Plastics Recycling and Research Facility at UC Berkeley

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

The Zero Waste Research Center at UC Berkeley is working to create the first Plastics Recycling Facility at UC Berkeley. This facility, located at the Global Bay Campus in Richmond ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
  • Conference Presentations
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Building an Open Source Food Recovery Website: Pairing University Dining Halls With Shelters

  • University of Washington, Seattle (WA)

About one-third of food is wasted globally each year (Smith). Further, 30-40% of all food in the U.S. goes uneaten each year, resulting in 133 billion pounds of waste ...

  • Posted Nov. 5, 2018
  • Conference Presentations
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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

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.