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

795 resources

State of the Recycling Industry

  • University of South Carolina (SC)
  • University of Oregon (OR)
  • College and University Recycling Coalition

"State of the Recycling Industry: Education & operations best practices for a challenging recycling market"

Originally took place May 30th 2019

Presenters:

Neil Seldman President, Institute for Local Self-Reliance Topic ...

  • Posted Aug. 22, 2019
  • Videos & Webinars
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Campus Composting Best Practices

  • Appalachian State University (NC)
  • Princeton University (NJ)
  • University of Louisville (KY)
  • College and University Recycling Coalition

Campus Composting Best Practices: Strategies for student engagement & food waste and compostable serveware diversion

Program originally took place May 9, 2019

Presenters:

Jen Maxwell, Sustainability Programs Manager Appalachian State ...

  • Posted Aug. 22, 2019
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Mapping Your Waste Stream and What to Do With It

  • College and University Recycling Coalition

Part of the College and University Recycling Coalition's free webinar series designed to share technical knowledge between program managers, student interns and others involved with promoting waste reduction on ...

  • Posted Aug. 19, 2019
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EPA Game Day Challenge

  • Bowdoin College (ME)

Bowdoin's Green Athletics club provided education about waste reduction and composting during Bowdoin's EPA Game Day Challenge event.


Bowdoin College Give and Go Moveout

  • Bowdoin College (ME)

Sustainable Bowdoin student employees help gather unwanted items from residence halls at the end of the school year, with much of the material being donated to Goodwill of northern new ...


Students composting at dining hall

  • Butler University (IN)

Collaboration to Scale Food Waste Collection - Butler University partnered with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on a food waste compost collection route, making it affordable to use a large waste hauler ...


AASHE Members Receive a Year of Syllabi as part of #GreenSyllabusChallenge

  • Syllabi

AASHE members get a free year of Syllabi as part of their #GreenSyllabusChallenge. Syllabi is a digital syllabus-based student planner that aggregates all course curriculum and due dates to the ...


Journey to Zero Waste

  • California State University, San Marcos (CA)

This is an annual event, previously celebrated as Thank You for Recycling Day. This year the program was re-branded as Journey to Zero Waste Day to encourage not just recycling ...

  • Posted May 22, 2019
  • Outreach Materials
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Green Events Guide

  • California State University, Northridge (CA)

What does it mean to put on a “Green Event”? What does it mean to be sustainable? Greening your event means to incorporate a wide spectrum of environmental, social, and ...

  • Posted May 22, 2019
  • Outreach Materials
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A Plan for Plastic Waste Reduction

  • Otterbein University (OH)

Since April 2018, Otterbein University has made steps to become more sustainable by reduce plastic waste and promoting reusable water bottles. The university added 30 bottle fill stations to campus ...


No Impact Meal - A More Mindful Dinner

  • Loyola University Chicago (IL)

The No Impact Meal (NIM) program is transforming our relationship with food on campus, one meal at a time. Led by a group of sustainability interns since the spring of ...

  • Posted May 22, 2019
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The Pyramid of Action: A Multifaceted Approach For Deeper Engagement

  • California State University, Chico (CA)

With many environmental issues overwhelming students today, it can be paralyzing. So, AS Sustainability utilized the “Pyramid of Action” strategy in semester-long campaigns, leading students from awareness, behavior change, education ...


CU Boulder Animal Bedding Compost

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)

Animal vivariums on college campuses generate a significant amount of animal bedding waste every day. CU Boulder houses only small animal vivariums (mice, rats, etc.). The animal bedding generated at ...


The Searle Biodiesel Lab - Loyola University Chicago's Student-Run Biodiesel Program

  • Loyola University Chicago (IL)

The Biodiesel Lab is a student-run biodiesel production facility within Loyola University’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability. Starting from a single student’s idea over a decade ago, nearly 100 ...


Composting at Northwestern University Norris Center

  • Northwestern University (IL)
  • Real Food Challenge (MA)
  • Compass Group (NC)

The project consists of the successful implementation of a front-of-the-house composting program in Northwestern University's Norris Center food court dining area and the coordination of a series of experiments ...


Fighting Irish, Fighting Food Waste: Converting Food Waste into Energy at Notre Dame

  • University of Notre Dame (IN)

At Notre Dame food and hospitality are integral aspects of campus culture. Over the last three years, two student-centered projects aimed at fighting food waste will allow Notre Dame to ...


TRUE Zero Waste Platinum Certification, Chou Hall

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

Connie and Kevin Chou Hall is the newest building addition to the UC Berkeley Haas Business School. It is the first academic building in the world to achieve US Green ...


Rheaply AxM: Making Assets Happy Again

  • Rheaply, Inc (IL)

A one minute video depicting the state of resource management in academia, and how circular thinking can be applied to asset management with Rheaply's AxM.

Rheaply’s Asset Exchange ...

  • Posted May 20, 2019
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A New Zero Waste Goal for Division 1 Football Games

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

Lauren Lichterman, the Operations and Sustainability Coordinator for Intercollegiate Athletics at The University of Texas at Austin, is not one to stop and rest on her laurels. She used a ...


The Good Store

  • University of Northern British Columbia (BC)
  • Prince George Public Interest Research Group (BC)

The Good Store is a low waste shop established on the UNBC campus to provide all members of the community with access to affordable, healthy and sustainable food options. The ...


McHenry County College Composts! (Finally!)

  • McHenry County College (IL)

Composting has been a goal of the MCC Board of Trustees approved Sustainability Strategic Plan since 2012 and 2015. Based on a waste audit done several years ago, MCC’s ...


Dollar Coffee Club

  • University of Montana- Missoula (MT)

The intent of the Dollar Coffee Club (DCC) is to leverage the powerful appeal of one dollar coffee to incentivize customers to participate in sustainability efforts through a quid pro ...


NSCC Waste Diversion Initiative

  • Nova Scotia Community College (NS)

After establishing a baseline for the College’s waste diversion rates at our thirteen Campuses across the Province of Nova Scotia, NSCC’s sustainability office coordinated a waste diversion campaign ...


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
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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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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.