EPA 2015 Food Recovery Challenge Announces Regional Winners

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced the five universities winners of the 2015 Food Recovery Challenge as California State University, Northridge; Northern Arizona University; Rochester Institute of Technology; University of Arizona; and University of California, Davis. These institutions pledged to improve their sustainable food management practices and report their results.

Michigan State U Courses Conduct Waste Audits

Two of four of the university's Introduction to Sustainability courses provide students with the opportunity to partner with the university's Recycling Center team to conduct a hands-on waste audit of a campus building. The Recycling Center team will use the data to improve signage and outreach materials.

U California Santa Cruz Organizes Paper Recycle Day

The Records and Information Management, and Policy Coordination Office sponsored a Disposition Day event, offering secure shredding and recycling of confidential and restricted paper documents to university business offices. This year, 10 offices participated and 5,034 pounds of paper were securely recycled.

Maharishi U Management Composts All Dining Hall Waste

Since late December, all of the food waste from the campus dining hall, including scraps from veggie prep, leftover food in serving trays at the end of a meal, and diners’ uneaten food, is being composted, amounting to about 720 pounds per day. The compost that is generated is then used on the campus, year-round student farm.

Northwestern U Moves to Mixed Recycling System

As of February, the university has mixed recycling collection that allows paper, cardboard, plastic, cans and bottles to be collected in the same bin. The effort is an attempt to meet its waste-to-landfill reduction goal.

Harvard U Law School Produces Video About Food Waste

The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, in partnership with Racing Horse Productions, has released a short film, EXPIRED? Food Waste in America, that explores how the variety of date labels on food products contributes to food waste in America. With the release of this film, the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic aims to raise awareness about the consequences of confusing and non-science-based date labeling, and about the impact that a uniform labeling standard could have on reducing food waste.

Johnson County CC Earns Local Accolades for Sustainability

The community college was recently identified as a Certified Green Program partner by Johnson County, along with six other organizations or businesses. The county's new sustainability program is designed to increase recycling, improve energy efficiency, decrease waste and save organizations money and resources by providing free education and technical assistance on environmental issues.

Jacksonville State U Initiates Pilot Recycling Program

Driven by the university's Student Government Association and funded by a $38,425 grant, new bins for mixed paper and plastic were installed. The bins are made from approximately 860 milk jugs.

Michigan State U Launches Sustainable Wood Recovery Program

In order to preserve the university's natural areas, the university has launched a Sustainable Wood Recovery Program to recover trees that are removed from campus due to decline, storm damage or safety concerns, by transforming them into products. Known as the MSU Shadows Collection, the sale items supports the Department of Forestry and the planting of new trees on MSU's campus.

Three Universities Attain EPA Award for Reducing Food Waste

Three New England universities were recently honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their success in keeping food out of landfills. Salem State University won an award for the highest percent increase in wasted food prevention and diversion by a college or university; Clark University won an honorable mention for reducing food waste at the source; and Keene State College won an award for the best educational and outreach campaign. Twelve other higher education institutions received a Regional Food Recovery Achievement Certificate.

Grand Valley State U Reduces Food Waste by 30 Percent

A new initiative known as Wipe Out Waste implemented in the fall 2015 semester helped the campus reduce food waste 31.8 percent by increasing food ordering accuracy, analyzing food ordering behavior, increasing supplier accountability, recipe and proportioning compliance and using a waste-tracking tool.

North Carolina State U Takes First Step to Reduce Use of Plastic Bags

Plastic bags will no longer be available for students to use for carry-out meals from the Atrium, one of the university's largest dining facilities, starting mid-January. In their place, paper bags will be available, though students are encouraged to forgo single-use bags altogether. The removal of plastic bags is the result of more than two years of collaborative work between the NC State Stewards, a student organization, and the University Sustainability Office.

U Arkansas Keeps 240 Pounds of Microfiche from Landfill

After weeding through the university libraries' collection of microfiche films, flat plastic sheets that hold very small copies of printed material, 240-pounds were found to contain copies of very old college catalogs no longer in use. In keeping with its commitment of a zero waste campus by 2021, the school's libraries collaborated to identify and contract with a recycler of the films.

Rice U Holds Food Waste Reduction Competition

In an effort to have a positive effect on the impacts of food waste, the Zero Waste Campaign's first Food Waste Reduction Competition led to a 23.3 percent reduction in waste at one of the university's restaurants. The Zero Waste Campaign began as a collaboration between four student groups, including one class.

Wall Street Journal 'Pizza Box Composting Gets College Try'

The WSJ recently discussed the successes and difficulties of recycling pizza boxes. Highlighting North Carolina State University for its innovative Pizza Box Composting Project that allows the university to divert the boxes from the landfill by using them as fertilizer.

Boston U Begins Electronic Initiatives to Reduce Paper

The university now uses a new electronic option for vendor payments, and W-2 forms and other employee paperwork. In addition, a mobile app allows the campus community to book and track travel and expense reports.

Northern Arizona U Hosts Green Football Game

In partnership with the Office of Sustainability and Campus Dining, NAU Athletics educated tailgaters about recycling with student volunteers, procured compostable materials to distribute food and ran informative messages during the game that promoted campus-wide programs. To reduce glass, the university held a Green Wine Contest in which they determine the best wine that comes in a box or can.

U Colorado Boulder Expands Recycling Center With New Building

Designed to get ​the university closer to its goal of diverting 90 percent of campus waste from landfills​, the new two-story, 19,500-square-foot building includes designated space for waste composition analysis and educational outreach and collaboration with students. An intent of the new facility is to more easily accommodate changing waste streams and difficult-to-recycle items.

Penn State U Campus Catering Composts 90% of Waste

After the general manager of Campus Catering began attending industry conferences, the amount of material diverted from landfills rose from nearly zero percent to approximately 90 percent over the past six years. One strategy in particular is using refillable jug water dispensers and compostable cups opposed to plastic water bottles.

U Southern California Adds Composting to Athletic Games

Building on the university’s efforts to reduce the tons of waste produced each football game, the university stadium's trash cans will be transformed into compost bins this football season, as the 90,000-seat facility attempts to achieve “zero waste” status in collaboration with the university's Office of Sustainability.

U Alberta Pilots Mattress Recycling

The university collaborated with Re-Matt, a new, mattress recycling company, in an effort to reduce the amount of mattresses that end up in landfills and illegally dumped. Re-Matt is able to recycle up to 95 percent of a mattress into reusable products.

Morehead State U Wins Grant for Recycling Bins

The university's Sustainability Committee received a Kentucky Pride Recycling grant for $10,701 and a $2,300 donation from G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Inc., to purchase 1,250 six-gallon recycling totes for residence hall rooms. The idea for installing bins came from a student during the 2015 RecycleMania competition.

North Carolina State U Stadium Implements Composting

University Athletics and the Waste Reduction and Recycling Office are partnering to add stadium composting bins, which will be used to collect food waste and other organic material from each game during the 2015 football season. Collected material will be combined with other campus food waste and turned into a nutrient-rich soil amendment.

16 Universities to Participate in Reusable Cup Contest

Kill the Cup recently announced the participating schools that will engage in a four-week, nationwide campaign that encourages students, staff and faculty across the country to reduce waste from disposable coffee cups. The campaign, which runs from Oct. 5-30, will reward the university that serves the highest percentage of drinks in reusable cups at participating coffee shops.

North Carolina State U to Salvage 55-Year Old Building

Opened in 1961 and is slated for deconstruction in 2016, the construction waste management plan for the university's round building indicates 95 percent diversion rate through donation or transfer of usable items and working with a facility that specialized in construction and demolition waste in order to reuse and recycle nonhazardous material.

Indiana U Purdue U Indianapolis Introduces Office Recycling Program

Attempting to increase the campus' waste diversion rate, the new pilot program is a combination of a recycle and waste bin at each employee's desk in one of the campus' newest buildings.

Colorado State U Surplus Diverts 18 Tons of Move-Out Material

The university's Surplus Department and Housing and Dining Services diverted over 18 tons of reusable items this year through the Leave it Behind program, which netted just over $7,000 to fund eight students in the Eco Leaders Peer Education Program who raise sustainability awareness in the dorms.

31 Schools Receive Recycling Bin Grants

Delivered by the Cola-Cola Foundation and Keep America Beautiful, the 31 college and university recipients are scattered throughout 18 states.

Elon U Waste Diversion Efforts Benefit Community Partners

The university's annual campaign coordinated by the Office of Sustainability diverted thousands of usable furnishings and food from landfills this spring and into the coffers of regional charities that help people in need.

Idaho State U Receives 50 Recycling Bins

As part of a national recycling grant from Keep America Beautiful and The Coca-Cola Foundation, the new bins will be placed around six buildings on campus. The university was chosen by Keep America Beautiful based on the extent of its need, recycling experience, and its ability to sustain the program in the future.

Eastern Washington U Receives 2015 Higher Education Recycler of the Year award

The university was recently honored as the 2015 Higher Education Recycler of the Year by the Washington State Recycling Association for dedication toward strengthening and expanding recycling and waste prevention practices.

Lehigh U Raises Record Amount Through End of Year Sale

A small group of faculty, staff, students and administrators managed to raise over $19,000 through this year's sale of unwanted and discarded goods from students, faculty and staff.

Ohio State U Students Create Recycling App

Funded by an Alcoa Foundation grant of $100,000, the new Android app, RecycleNow, helps communities maximize their recycling efforts by providing municipalities the ability to explore the economic, environmental and social impact of potential changes to their existing recycling programs.

Northern Arizona U Transforms Trash Cans Into Planters

As a result of placing 130 Big Belly receptacles throughout campus, old trash bins were creatively repurposed into flower planters for the summer.

Northwestern U Evaluates Switching to Single Stream Recycling

The university decided to maintain a dual-stream recycling system, one collection for paper and cardboard, and the other for cans, glass and plastic, ensuring that recycling happens at the highest level possible to maximize resource reuse and to keep a lower rate of contamination.

U South Carolina Collects 19 Tons During Move Out

This year’s Give It Up For Good yard sale collected 19 tons of donations from university students, faculty and staff and raised over $13,900 for the Central South Carolina Habitat for Humanity, beating last year’s total of $9,800. The university will partner with the organization to build or rehab a house this fall with raised funds.

Arizona State U Boosts Waste Diversion Rate With Blue Bags

Blue bags capture items including dry cell batteries, shiny plastic wrappers and bags, single-use coffee pods, and small e-waste not currently recyclable as part of the university's current blue bin commingled recycling program. Blue bags are available free of charge to offices and departments across the Tempe campus.

Roosevelt U Student Develops Phone App to Encourage Recycling

As part of a sustainability studies program course, honors student Dusan Koleno created the Google Play app, Recycle Tracker, to enable users at home and office to keep track of what and how much they are recycling with comparisons, including pie and bar charts, that can be viewed by weekly, monthly or annual usage.

Morehead State U to Hold Charity Donation Event

In an effort to reduce end-of-year waste, Chuck it for Charity is a campus move out donation campaign where Goodwill of Kentucky provides donation bins in several locations on campus so that students can donate gently used clothing, shoes, small appliances, decor, books and school supplies, and miscellaneous household goods.

Eastern Washington U Celebrates Earth Day with Recycling Center Ribbon Cutting

The new 6,964 square foot facility supports the university's ongoing commitment to sustainability and was designed to efficiently process the 331 tons of material handled each year. A new materials compactor/baler and electronic truck scale was installed. The center is also the new home for EWU Surplus Sales, which promotes the re-use of items no longer needed by the university.

U Maryland Diverts 89 Percent of Waste from Landfills

The university's Facilities Management Solid Waste and Recycling Unit recently confirmed the university has achieved an 89 percent institutional diversion rate in 2014. The rate increased by more than 10 percent from 2013. The institutional diversion rate reflects all materials the university diverted from landfills, including construction and demolition waste.

Central New Mexico CC Produces Film About Mt. Trashmore & RecycleMania

The college's Media Production team produced a short film highlighting “Mount Trashmore,” the key event during RecycleMania. The event served as an educational activity for students participating in Campus as a Living Lab and Service Learning projects while also emphasizing the college's relationships with community partners.

U Maryland Dining Services Procures Environmentally Friendly Cups

As part of its sustainability efforts, Dining Services recently replaced its blue Pepsi cups in the North Campus and South Campus dining halls with fully compostable cups this semester.

Bentley U Begins Composting Pre-Consumer Food Waste

Reducing food waste is the motivation for dining services' new process that captures food scraps from the food preparation process.

Boston U Increases Recycling Rate

The newly installed dual-stream recycling system on every floor of one of the campus' largest residence halls was the result of the university's Student Government Department of Environmental Affairs goal to increase access and convenience.

U Maryland Student Creates Recycling Video

The new promotional video that encourages and educates about recycling was created on behalf of a contest, which won first place.

Fitchburg State U Removes Drinking Straw Option

(U.S.): In an attempt to improve waste reduction, recycling and composting, the university removed the straws, which are hard to spot when conducting post-consumer, dish room garbage separation.

U Malaya Initiates Zero Waste Campaign

(Malaysia): The new campaign, started by students driven by the desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from methane, includes food and garden waste, paper, plastics, metals, textiles, electronics and wood and includes a special focus on reducing organic material, which accounts for over 50 percent of discarded material.

U Sunshine Coast Installs Water Bottle Refilling Stations

(Australia): Aligning with the university's goal to reduce waste and provide alternative choices, three new refilling vending machines have been installed that dispense chilled, filtered water or sparkling water at a low cost to users, in addition to 18 bottle refill stations.

U Sydney Introduces Centralized Recycling Stations

(Australia): Hoping to increase recycling rates and reduce the use of plastic bin liners across campus, the new two-bin system allows for mixed recyclables, plastic, glass, cans and paper, and general waste.