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

596 resources

Learn how to Launch a University Surplus Program and Start Making Real Money for Sustainability While Reducing Your Waste

  • Drexel University (PA)
  • Temple University (PA)

Universities invest in equipment and facilities to stay competitive. While these acquisitions are needed, much of the 'obsolete' equipment offers value to a secondary market. Nationally, universities are extracting value ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Change Makers: Innovative waste reduction campaigns and beyond

  • Johnson County Community College (KS)
  • Lane Community College (OR)
  • Portland Community College (OR)

This interactive and action-oriented panel will look at 3 different waste reduction behavior change programs in community colleges. The panelists will address some of the specific challenges they face with ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

PeopleTowels - Engaging Students in Reducing Single Use Paper Towels

  • New Mexico State University (NM)
  • Principia College (IL)
  • University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (WI)
  • PeopleTowels, LLC (NY)

Despite numerous campus sustainability initiatives, paper towel waste still comprises 30-40% of most campus waste streams. This session will reveal the results of a paper towel alternative case study and ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Towards Zero Waste in the California State University East Bay Dining Commons

  • California State University, East Bay (CA)

The California State University East Bay (CSUEB) Dining Commons (DC) has committed to becoming a Zero Waste facility. To support this effort, and Governor Brown's AB 1826 (the state ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Fair Trade Recycling Operations

  • Post Landfill Action Network (NH)

While the Responsible Recycling (R2) standard has been criticized for its flexibility regarding exportation, our team has been able to connect with R2 certified operations that exemplify how the exportation ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

How Resource Innovation and Solutions Pioneered on the ASU Campus is Growing a Worldwide Network

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

This is the story of how Arizona State University, through a systems approach to public engagement and a unique collaboration with the city of Phoenix, created the Resource Innovation and ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

A New Way to Turn Trash Into Cash - The University of San Diego Electronics Recycling Center

  • University of San Diego (CA)

The University of San Diego Electronics Recycling Center (USD ERC) will present updates on successes and challenges in the 5+ years of operating a sustainable business enterprise. This highly transferable ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Green Meets Brown: University of Louisville Eco-Reps and Community Composting

  • University of Louisville (KY)

The University of Louisville Eco-Reps are a sustainability training & networking group offering certifications, hosting monthly lunches, local speakers, & field trips, and organizing volunteer projects. Our longest-running project was ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Tackling the PAC-12: a Zero Waste Challenge

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

Here at the University of Arizona, there is a strong fan base towards the athletic events, from our large-scale football games to our famous and impressive basketball games. The amount ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

The Prize of Collaboration is Resilience. Universities Lead on Inter-Organizational Reuse of Surplus Assets and Equipment.

  • GetWarpIt

This presentation explores a UK case study where Universities are leading on the sharing of surplus assets and collaborating with other Universities, Municipal Councils, Hospitals, schools and not-for-profits. This is ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Charting the Path to Zero Waste at a Liberal Arts University: A Student Led Model

  • Furman University (SC)

The generation and management of waste on college campuses have presented challenges to pursuing institutional sustainability. This case study looks at the use of undergraduate students in the visioning, data ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Plastic-Free Campuses

  • Post Landfill Action Network (NH)

From bottles and bags to polypropylene microbeads, we discuss tangible alternatives to single-use disposable plastics on a college or university campus. We use campus-specific programs to highlight success stories of ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Savings by Design: Implementing a Reusable To-Go Program with savings in mind.

  • Virginia Tech (VA)

Virginia Tech Dining Services has implemented a robust Reusable To-Go container program with the help of partner campus organizations. The program is available at three dining centers and averages 3 ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Beyond Excuses: Banning Bottled Water on Your Campus

  • Eastern Washington University (WA)
  • University of Puget Sound (WA)

Over 100 North American universities have enacted policies banning bottled water and promoting tap water as a more preferable choice. This workshop will outline the steps of banning bottled water ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Zero Waste Restroom Hand Towel Pilot: Kimberly Clark and Purdue University Partner in Mackey Arena

  • Purdue University (IN)
  • Kimberly-Clark Professional (GA)

Kimberly-Clark Professional and Purdue University partnered to develop and implement a zero waste restroom paper hand towel compost pilot in Purdue's Mackey Arena (seats 14,846) for the 2015-16 ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Small Scale Biogas for Energy Sustainability and Education

  • Dickinson College (PA)

This presentation will describe the science and practical logistics of running a small scale biogas system on campus. Biogas (also known as biomethane) is a climate-friendly, renewable alternative to natural ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Exploring LEED-EB: O+M for A Smarter, Healthier and More Efficient Campus: Lessons Learned at Portland State University

  • Portland State University (OR)
  • Green Building Services (OR)

Portland State University is working on multiple fronts to institutionalize sustainable operations and support the campus goal of carbon neutrality by 2040. In 2015, PSU became a founding signatory of ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Collaboration is the Path to Sustainability

  • CleanRiver Recycling Solutions (ON)

Through the use of case studies and examples from real life site-tours, Bruce Buchan will identify the key challenges Higher Education facilities face when implementing recycling programs, and the critical ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

The secret life of one 'ice cube' and it's wasteful journey to your cup at the ballgame

  • Eden's Song, LLC (GA)

Environmental efforts permeate every aspect of campus life. So it may surprise some to know that in one crucial area of vigorous waste efforts, a nasty little culprit has just ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Zero-Waste Initiative: Paving the Way

  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln (NE)

As an institution with over 25,000 students, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln produces an overwhelming amount of waste. Although UNL currently has a waste diversion rate of about 50 percent ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Compost Cats in the K-12 Classroom: Building a Zero Waste Culture from the Ground Up

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

The Compost Cats program at the University of Arizona has diverted 10.5 million pounds of material from local landfills. While turning garbage into gardens is important, changing the culture ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Carbon and the Compost Cats: Evaluation of Carbon Offset Impacts for a University Affiliated Compost Program

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

The University of Arizona Compost Cats program has performed a life cycle assessment (LCA) greenhouse gas emissions analysis to quantify the benefits of composting waste from campus and local participating ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Greening the Mullins Center at UMass Amherst

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (MA)

UMass Amherst, a three time STARS Gold Rated institution, has made great strides in creating a more sustainable campus. As a prior student, I take pride in this. As a ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Cold is no Excuse! Campus Sustainability in Cold Climates

  • Western State Colorado University (CO)

Western State Colorado University is committed to sustainability throughout campus. WSCU is situated in Gunnison, CO., a unique valley that experiences extremely cold temperatures. Sub-zero temperatures are not uncommon on ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Sorting It All Out: What's in Your Garbage and Why You Should Care. How Waste Characterization Data Can Help Your Institution.

  • Appalachian State University (NC)
  • Kessler Consulting Inc. (FL)

Many universities are setting the recycling bar higher and higher, often targeting zero waste goals. However, 'to manage it, you need to measure it.' Before you identify strategies to divert ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Student Recycling Competition and Reusable To-Go Containers

  • Aramark Higher Education (PA)

Through partnership with the University, Dining Services launched a reusable to-go program and student recycling competition to advert Styrofoam and plastic from entering the community landfill. In fall 2014, Dining ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Sustainable General Chemistry: Incorporating Sustainability into Both Theme and Experiment Design in the Freshman Chemistry Lab

  • Concordia College (NY)

Over the past decade, the general chemistry laboratory experience at Concordia College has evolved from a traditional expository style program to an inquiry based program which incorporates a number of ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Transitioning Dining Hall Pulped Waste to Post-Consumer Compost: Challenges and Lessons Learned at Appalachian State University

  • Appalachian State University (NC)

Following a waste audit in 2011, Appalachian Food Services, the Office of Sustainability and Landscape Services at Appalachian State University began discussing the possibility of transitioning dining hall pulped waste ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

From the Ground[s] Up

  • Wells College (NY)

Wells College implemented two coffee-related activities. As the student-run GRIND Café steadily rose in popularity, its success created a waste problem. The GRIND staff daily prepared so much coffee, the ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Learning to Reboot a Campus or Commercial Recycling Program

  • George Washington University (DC)

The only thing certain in the recycling field is that nothing is certain. In colleges and universities across the United States, sustainability and zero waste managers are constantly having to ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Composting as a Collaborative Regional School Effort

  • University of North Carolina, Wilmington (NC)

Many communities have large-scale composting facilities. The Coastal Composting Council, NHC Landfill and UNCW have constructed the following plan to pilot such a facility utilizing the schools in the Cape ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Return Recycling: Zero Waste Strategies

  • New York University (NY)
  • Return Recycling (NY)

Return Recycling is a student-led organization devoted to building a concrete understanding for waste data, infrastructure, and engagement. Over the past year we prototyped new (self-designed) recycling bins, developed new ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Working with Zero: Maximizing Partnerships to Meet Big Sustainability Goals

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

Campus sustainability practitioners are often tasked to achieve goals using little funding and staffing. By maximizing networks both within and outside the traditional sustainability lens and connecting campus resources, Zero ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Alternative Utilization of Non-Recyclable Plastics for Sustainable Solid Waste Management in Gunnison, Colorado

  • Western State Colorado University (CO)

Plastic have become part of our everyday lives and are seen everywhere in the environment. Despite campaigns to promote the concept of 'reduce, reuse and recycle', tons of waste ends ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Bailey Compost Initiative

  • Michigan State University (MI)

Students in dorm rooms generate organic waste on a daily basis. With 40% of organic matter wasted globally, this problem of waste diversion needs to be addressed. The Bailey Compost ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

The Wildcat Waste Challenge: A Collaboration Between Student Programs, University Libraries, and Facilities Management

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

Two significant barriers to increased recycling rates are confusion surrounding what is and is not recyclable and the convenience factor of waste disposal. Many students view recycling as a confusing ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

How Signage Increases Recycling Rates

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

It is well known that recycling can be confusing, especially when deciding which materials are accepted into a recycling program at point of disposal (aka the bin). This can lead ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Four Success Stories and One Big Challenge on the Frontline of Zero Waste Implementation

  • Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (ON)

Since our college rolled out the Zero Waste program across all four campuses two years ago, we have made significant progress in our waste diversion and reduction. In this session ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Hitting the Reset Button: UT Austin's Process to Implement New Goals Within Existing Diversion Operations

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

As a state entity many of UT Austin's waste diversion programs and successes stemmed from state mandates. Due to changing priorities at the university level including the adoption of ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Campus sustainability programs: the role of credibility and motivation

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

Most universities now have some kind of sustainability program, but little work has been done to understand what leads to these programs' success or failure. We investigated stakeholder perceptions of ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Football Fans and Waste: Influencing Behavior

  • University of Missouri (MO)

One of the main factors in waste separation at sporting events is gaining the cooperation of fans to dispose of their waste in the appropriate receptacle (compost, recycling or landfill ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

CURC Campus Recycling Workshop

  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)

The College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC) workshop brings together experts in the field of waste reduction and diversion at institutions of higher education. This year's workshop will focus ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Increasing diversion rates in outdoor campus spaces: A case study from Hobart and William Smith Colleges

  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges (NY)

This poster will highlight findings from a student-led campus sustainability intervention project completed during the year-long Sustainable Living and Learning Community (SLLC) Program for first-year students at HWS. Using a ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

The College of Charleston - Zero Waste Initiative

  • College of Charleston (SC)

In 2012 the College of Charleston adopted the goal to dramatically reduce waste from processes on campus, and become a certified Zero Waste Institution by 2025. To achieve this goal ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Colloquium on FEWS Research Needs and Opportunities

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (DC)

Regardless of all the devoted investments, too often, good, nutritious food ends up getting wasted. In the United States, food is the largest stream of discarded materials, accounting for 21 ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

Clemson University Case Study

  • RRS (MI)

Colleges and universities may be classified as institutions, but they often operate like small cities when it comes to waste and recycling. In order to manage resources wisely from both ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
  • Conference Presentations
  • View more

St. John's University - New york students start food waste pulping to double capacity of on-site composting

  • St. John's University, New York (NY)

New for fall 2016 is the addition of students using a food waste pulper which facilitates doubling the capacity of recovering food scraps for on site composting. Since 2012, student ...


Lehigh University Conducts Residential Hall Waste Audit on Campus Sustainability Day

  • Lehigh University (PA)

On October 26, Lehigh University conducted a waste audit of the largest residential hall on campus, M&M. Twelve students participated in the waste audit. The students will use the data ...


Safety Advancement Program

  • Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (IN)

CSHEMA’s Safety Advancement Program is designed to help colleges, universities, and other campus environments assess and address health and safety performance. At the core of the Safety Advancement Program ...


Eco Move Out and Eco Move In

  • University of Alberta (AB)
  • Posted Sept. 26, 2016
  • Photographs
  • View more

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.

Busch Systems

Barrie, ON
Business Supporter

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.