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

661 resources

Getting Trashy: Measurable Pilot Projects to Identify Best Practices

  • University of Denver (CO)

Pilot projects targeting increased diversion rates are a direct means of engaging the community, determining best practices, and driving change through measurable results. At the University of Denver, we launched ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Our Story of Stuff: Sharing “waste” with a campus Free Store

  • University of Louisville (KY)

Like many large, urban universities with a residential population, the University of Louisville (UofL) has faced two major challenges at the heart of sustainability: an over-abundance of discarded, useful items ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Trash Talks: revealing the potential of a building’s waste stream

  • Portland State University (OR)

My case study will examine how a day’s waste from a single dumpster can be used to provoke art and design students into discussion and multilateral thinking about how ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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AUN Sustainable Waste Management with Municipal Waste Reuse

  • American University of Nigeria (Adamawa,)

The American University of Nigeria drives sustainable waste management with participatory municipal waste reuse program The Office of Sustainability at the American University of Nigeria (AUN) drives sustainable waste management ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Building Community Partnerships to Promote Sustainable Waste Practices

  • Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (DF)
  • Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey Campus Leon

As part of a research project run by the Sustainability department at the Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores Unidad León (ENES), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico, professors ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Standardizing building infrastructure to increase service efficiency and waste diversion

  • University of Washington, Seattle (WA)

Since 2008 the University of Washington has been implementing its MiniMax program. What started out simply as a self-service, desk-side waste and recycling collection program to raise awareness about personal ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Working Together To Fight Hunger and Waste

  • Bon Appétit Management Company
  • Food Recovery Network (MD)

Every day students are asking more of the university around them and it can be difficult for dining service providers to know how to address requests. Whether it be for ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Waste management and recycling at the National University of Mexico

  • Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (DF)

The National Autonomous University of México (UNAM) as part of one of the world’s largest cities faces a number of problems related to the generation, management and the physical ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Innovation & Partnership for Landfill Waste Diversion

  • Emory University (GA)

Creativity, innovation, and partnership are essential for successful campus waste minimization and landfill diversion efforts. A series of collaborative efforts have recently emerged in order to work towards meeting Emory ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Food Composting in the Real World

  • Carnegie Mellon University (PA)

Since 2007, incremental successes have taken our campus food composting weights from 0 to 419 tons, increasing every year! The Pittsburgh region food composting initiative started with stakeholder food audits ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Redefining the Norms of Waste Management Through Behavioral Changes

  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)

The UC-wide goal of Zero Waste by 2020 continues to encourage campuses to increase their waste diversion practices. At UCSB, we believe that we need to gain a better understanding ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Evolution of Zero Waste in a Retail Food Court

  • University of California, Irvine (CA)
  • Aramark Higher Education (PA)

The objective of UC Irvine’s Zero Waste Food Court Pilot Program is to expand practices from campus residential dining locations to Phoenix Food Court as a model for additional ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Repair Fairs: Promoting waste reduction in community involvement

  • Oregon State University (OR)

One of the largest challenges in engaging students in sustainability is creating meaningful experiences. Encouraging students to practice reuse is particularly challenging, as it requires a personal commitment. Likewise, educating ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Implementing a Student-Led Move-Out Waste Program: UMass Amherst

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (MA)
  • Post Landfill Action Network (NH)

For the last year, UMass Amherst has been partnering with a newly-formed nonprofit organization, The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN), to launch a student-led move-out waste collection and resale program. PLAN ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Effects of Behavioral Signage on Dormitory Recycling Rates

  • Boston University (MA)

Data shows that pairing recycling and trash containers leads to higher recycling rates. However, many older buildings do not have space for more than a trash container, especially in residential ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Give & Go Move-Out Donation Program: Multifaceted Student Outreach Campaign

  • Stanford University (CA)

Stanford’s newly revamped and rebranded Give & Go Move Out donation program in R&DE Student Housing has dramatically reduced the waste stream sent to landfills at the end of ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Campus Waste Watching - Examining Metrics and Efficient Material Use

  • American University (DC)
  • Harvard University (MA)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)
  • University of Florida (FL)

This panel discussion will focus on addressing the importance of metrics as they relate to waste management, with a specific focus on tracking, analyzing, and utilizing waste data to improve ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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It’s hard to play the game, if you don’t know the score

  • Purdue University (IN)
  • Re-TRAC Connect (MB)

Quality data is critical to measuring performance – after all, how do you know how well you’re performing if you don’t know where you started? Universities and colleges across ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Students & Climate Change Intervention: Investment Office Insights

  • University of British Columbia (BC)
  • Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (NY)

Focused on campuses with the intention of mobilizing student activists, late in 2012 a "divest from fossil fuel" campaign was begun. Most faith and values-driven institutional investors were attentive to ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Consumer-Free, Zero Waste Year

  • American University (DC)
  • University of Florida (FL)

Joseph Floyd (University of Florida) decided to live one year consumer-free and zero waste. Following the 2013 AASHE Conference, Natalia Posthill (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Helen ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Post Consumer Composting at the University of Florida: A Partnership Between ARAMARK, WCA and the University of Florida

  • University of Florida (FL)
  • WCA (TX)

Overview: As part of its goal to be zero waste by 2015, the University of Florida developed a comprehensive organics composting solution to address almost 25% of the total campus ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Student Innovation and Materials Management in Portland: The CES Model

  • Portland State University (OR)

Many organizations are taking a more strategic approach towards managing the waste they generate. Driven by the opportunity to improve environmental and economic performance, they are prioritizing their waste stream ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Teaching and Learning for a Zero Waste Future

  • DePauw University (IN)

The global materials economy is a fundamental driver of all of our most serious and urgent crises: climate change, toxic pollution, biodiversity loss, poverty, and injustice. This economic system rests ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Harnessing student enthusiasm through a Waste Reduction Task Force

  • Portland State University (OR)

Portland State University’s Waste Reduction Task Force is a student-led initiative that seeks to redefine the way PSU’s campus community looks at trash. Through partnering with strategic departments ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Campus Composting

  • Southwestern University (TX)

Southwestern University students led a composting initiative in Fall 2011 which has evolved into a campus wide program which has made a significant impact on the community and University. The ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Order Matters: Waste Audits and Bin Configurations

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

Before you can get to zero waste, you need to know what your waste stream is composed of. The best way to do this is through waste audits. This presentation ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Turning Trash into Cash: The USD Electronics Recycling Center

  • University of San Diego (CA)

As technology continues to advance, consumers continue to buy new electronics, but where can they properly dispose older electronics? The University of San Diego Electronics Recycling Center serves as a ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Food Waste Diversion and Evolution on Campus: Preparing for the Upcoming MA Organics Waste Ban

  • Boston University (MA)

Boston University Dining Services began diverting food waste in 2008. This presentation will discuss the evolution of food waste diversion on campus as well as how we are preparing for ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Working on Waste at the Kwantlen Student Association

  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University (BC)

The Kwantlen Student Association completed a student led waste audit of our student owned and run GrassRoots Cafe and main offices in early 2014. After the waste audit we have ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Creating a visual identity system to improve waste diversion rates

  • Lehigh University (PA)

Among institutions of higher education dedicated to sustainability, there is often a struggle to significantly reduce waste generated on campus and reduce contamination rates in waste diversion streams. Lehigh University ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Cafeteria to Community: Reducing Waste and Feeding the Hungry

  • Luther College (IA)

This poster will illustrate a program that simultaneously reduces food waste from Luther College’s cafeteria while providing needed food assistance to hungry families in the surrounding community. The Cafeteria ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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The Story of Reuse at Michigan State University

  • Michigan State University (MI)

With so much focus on recycling, many organizations might forget the true value of reusing and redeploying products. The reuse operation at Michigan State University creates opportunity to manage cost ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Time is money: accounting for the true cost of a campus waste initiative

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

Universities across the country are developing and implementing campus sustainability initiatives. Such initiatives may be designed to save money or reduce waste, or they may have more intangible goals related ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Zero waste as a supply chain challenge: the importance of partnerships

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

This presentation will discuss the successes and challenges of Penn State’s initiative to move its Athletics facilities toward zero waste, and the story of how silos had to be ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Zero Waste Events: A Sustainable Approach to Event Planning

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

UC Berkeley established a goal to achieve zero waste by the year 2020. To achieve this goal, more materials must be diverted from the landfill through recycling and composting. In ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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To Know Your Building, Know Your Waste: The Importance of Waste Audits

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

More and more institutions across the country are establishing Zero Waste goals. One of the problems with this is that many people don’t know what their waste is, so ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Zero Waste Outreach Strategies - Operational vs. Promotional

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)

A new day is dawning over the coalfields of Appalachia. A region which has been at the heart of fossil fuel dependence, leading the nation in per capita carbon emissions ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Rock Chalk Recycle: Athletics Recycling at The University of Kansas

  • University of Kansas (KS)

In 2013, the University of Kansas (KU) Recycling Program Launched the Rock Chalk Recycle initiative. Rock Chalk Recycle is a partnership between KU Recycling and KU Athletics that set out ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Rock Chalk Recycle: From 0-Zero

  • University of Kansas (KS)

What is the first thing you think of when I say, "The University of Kansas?" Perhaps it’s the invention of basketball, the four national championships, or the 10 straight ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Pack & Give Back: A Sustainable Move Out Program for On and Off Campus

  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (MN)

Pack & Give Back is a household waste diversion effort at the end of each semester for students moving out of on-campus residential hosing and in neighborhoods adjacent to campus ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Sponsored Theater Presentation: The Wizard of Ozzi

  • AGreenOZZI, LLC (RI)

This presentation explores a concerted effort being made to change the way people behave when it comes to the use of traditional take-out food containers. Almost without thinking, people accept ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC) Zero Waste Workshop

  • College & University Recycling Coalition (DC)

Come join your fellow recycling and sustainability colleagues at an open meeting organized by the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC). CURC member and non-members are welcome to join this ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Throw Away Does Not Mean Go Away: Achieving Zero Waste on a Campus Scale

  • American University (DC)

In alignment with its commitment to carbon neutrality, one university adopted a Zero Waste Policy in 2010, committing to send zero waste to landfill and incineration by 2020. This case ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Zero Waste: A Model for Transformational Change

  • Aquinas College (MI)

As a part of its Climate Action Plan under the ACUPCC, Aquinas College is committed to become a zero-waste-to-landfill campus by May 2014. This is the most aggressive, publically stated ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Transitioning to Zero Waste Hockey: A Student Run Pilot

  • University of Denver (CO)

Last year students at the University of Denver in partnership with Ritchie Center Athletics led the charge to institute zero waste hockey games at the University of Denver. This grassroots ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Getting to Zero Waste: Waste Audits

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

The Waste Audit Team has created a protocol for all waste audits at UC Berkeley. Up until this point, groups have been conducting audits using different methods, making it so ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Food Waste Composting at the University of Virginia

  • University of Virginia (VA)

The University of Virginia and University of Virginia Dining (ARAMARK) actively collaborate on organic waste reduction strategies and methods. In 2008, U.Va. and University Dining Services instituted a partnership ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Closing the Loop on Waste: How Student Waste Becomes a Community Resource

  • Appalachian State University (NC)

At the end of every school year, students leave unwanted goods behind…literally tons of it. Faced with the question of how to handle this wanton waste, Appalachian State University ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Engaging Students in an Integrated Solid Waste Management Program at a Higher Education Institution

  • Universidad Iberoamericana, A.C. (DF)

An approach to engage engineering students in environmental activities dealing with Solid Waste Management is presented. A series of activities have been developed, including students from different courses and engineering ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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Give and Go: Best Practice Lessons for Move Out Collections

  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)

This presentation will brief conference attendees on the results of the “Give and Go: Move Out 2013” collection program taking place on five college campuses in May 2013. Produced through ...

  • Posted Feb. 26, 2016
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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.

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.