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

Written Messages Improve Edible Food Waste Behaviors in a University Dining Facility

  • Kansas State University (KS)

Background

Sustainability and going green have become popular trends among foodservice organizations. Despite this interest, foodservice operations still produce large amounts of edible food waste and contribute significantly to waste ...


Garnering input for recycling communication strategies at a Big Ten University

  • Michigan State University (MI)

With increasing environmental challenges confronting our planet, colleges and universities are trying different approaches for minimizing their adverse environmental impacts. Among the approaches being used to revitalize campus sustainability efforts ...


Teaching with trash: archaeological insights on university waste management

  • University of Idaho (ID)

The archaeological study of modern trash on an American university campus can yield valuable insight into how both human and environmental processes contribute to the accumulation and distribution of litter ...


Implementation of a zero waste program at a university campus

  • Massey University

A zero waste program was established at a university campus in response to grassroots student concern over environmental management issues. The implementation procedure consisted of initial discussions with academic and ...


Reducing solid waste in higher education: The first step towards ‘greening’ a university campus

  • University of Northern British Columbia (BC)

Comprehensive solid waste management programs are one of the greatest challenges to achieving campus sustainability. Conducting a waste characterization study is a critical first step in successful waste management planning ...


An Economic Analysis of a University Educational Cafeteria Composting Program—Bobcat Blend

  • Texas State University, San Marcos (TX)

At Texas State University, a cafeteria-composting pilot program was established in which students source-separated their organic waste at one of the food courts while the program educated students on the ...


Expanding Your Move Out Program

  • Pitzer College (CA)
  • Pomona College (CA)
  • University of South Carolina (SC)
  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

Campuses across the country are starting to develop robust move-out collection projects of various types. Some hold a yard sale for the local community in the summer, or for students ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Thrift Stores, FreeStores, and Reuse Spaces

  • Coastal Carolina University (SC)
  • Portland State University (OR)
  • University of Pittsburgh (PA)

This panel will discuss the outcomes from Thrift Stores, Free Stores and Reuse Spaces across different campuses. Hear how these second-hand experiences have become a model for showcasing the three ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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WTF Reduction! Waste, Technology and Facebook; Utilizing Social Media, Technology and Outreach to Effect Behavioral Change

  • State University of New York at Oswego (NY)
  • University of North Carolina, Asheville (NC)
  • University of Virginia (VA)
  • Cupanion (ON)

This panel will discuss the use of social media and technology and how it can be applied it to various re-use and waste reduction programs. Partnered with Cupanion, these three ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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The University of Thriftsburgh: We Work With More Than Just Ugly Sweaters

  • University of Pittsburgh (PA)

The University of Thriftsburgh, a non-profit, student-run thrift store, opened on the University of Pittsburgh's campus on March 18, 2015. The store was the result of year and a ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Creative Composting: a Comprehensive Approach to Food Waste Reduction

  • Green Mountain College (VT)

Though composting is a great step away from creating landfill waste, it is still very low on the EPA's food waste hierarchy. This study presents how a group of ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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TailGator: Game Day Recycling at the University of Florida

  • University of Florida (FL)

For the last ten seasons the TailGator Game Day Recycling Program, the longest running program of the University of Florida's Office of Sustainability, has educated fans on properly sorting ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Making Student Events Greener, One Pizza Box at a Time

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

From pizza boxes to plastic cups, a lot can go to waste during student events. What if there was a way to keep that waste out of the landfill while ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Zero Waste: Data, Infrastructure, and Engagement Return Recycling Case Study

  • 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've prototyped new (self-designed) recycling bins, developed ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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The Campus Kitchens Project: Using Food as a Tool for a More Sustainable Campus and Community.

  • The Campus Kitchens Project (DC)

Attendees will get an in depth look at The Campus Kitchens Project (CKP) and will be empowered to bring the program to their school. CKP students on 50 campuses are ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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A Zero Waste Campus is Possible

  • Post-Landfill Action Network (NH)

We begin by asking students to envision a zero waste campus through innovative problem solving & logistics management. In small groups, they map out how to prevent specific forms of ...

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Fighting Waste, Feeding People: Student Solutions for the Long Term

  • Food Recovery Network (MD)

Forty percent of all food produced in America is wasted, while one in six Americans is unsure where his or her next meal will come from. If food waste were ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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US EPA - NEW Organics Recovery Program Development Toolkit

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (DC)
  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)

US EPA Region 4 will unveil the working draft of its Organics Recovery Program Development Toolkit developed specifically for colleges and universities. The toolkit is intended to guide campuses looking ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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College & University Recycling Coalition Members 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 Nov. 18, 2016
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The Purdue Recycling Project (PuRe): Developing a Scientific Approach to Study Recycling Signage

  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)
  • Purdue University (IN)

The Purdue Recycling Project (PuRe), funded by Keep America Beautiful, has three major goals: 1) The first goal is to test recycling behaviors in a controlled lab study in which ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Working with supply chain partners to achieve zero waste goals

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

Many campuses are attempting to achieve zero waste goals, but are not able to overcome key challenges. Penn State has achieved zero waste in several sports venues by partnering with ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Piloting RecycleMania's 'Race to Zero Waste' competition: How to implement zero waste practices building by building

  • Brigham Young University (UT)
  • Harvard University (MA)
  • University of Nevada Las Vegas (NV)
  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)

This session will report on efforts to reduce waste in specific buildings on several campuses providing focused insight on the challenges and opportunities for waste reduction on college campuses. In ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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There's an App for That - CommUniverCity San José's Partnership for Combatting Illegal Dumping

  • San Jose State University (CA)
  • City of San Jose (CA)
  • CommUniverCity San Jose (CA)

The City of San José, California has experienced an increase in both the frequency and volume of illegal dumping. Since 2012, incidences of illegal dumping on public property have increased ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Optimizing Effluent Water Quality in Water Reclamation and Reuse

  • Emory University (GA)
  • Sustainable Water, LLC (VA)

Managing water-related challenges through water reclamation and reuse is vital to all bulk water consumers. Decentralized water reclamation and reuse decreases the demand for potable water supplies, provides increased resiliency ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Collaborative Initiatives that Work

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

Inspiring and empowering sustainability engagement and practices on our campuses is one of Arizona State University's primary goals and creating a culture of collaboration has served as a key ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Laboratory Recycling and Beyond

  • Medical University of South Carolina (SC)

An often avoided realm in recycling efforts, research laboratories generate large amounts of recyclable materials that end up as land-filled waste. In this session we will describe MUSC's Lab ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Cold is no Excuse! Campus Sustainability in Cold Climates

  • Western 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
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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.