U Nebraska-Lincoln Starts Composting in Student Union
The Association of Students of the University of Nebraska's Environmental Sustainability Committee has worked with administrators, food vendors and a new Lincoln-based company to establish the composting program, which will be established in three phases. The first phase includes pre-consumer food waste, while additional phases will feature promotion and education, and expansion that includes all compostable waste from the Student Union.
Loyola U Students Support Composting at National Festival
In an effort to minimize its environmental impact, Lollapalooza hired 46 Loyola students to guide festival-goers to compost food scraps, recycle appropriate materials and use refillable bottles instead of one-time use containers. The four-day festival included over 400,000 attendees.
Indiana U-Owned Hotel Diverts 6K Pounds of Soap
After seeing a presentation on Clean the World, an organization dedicated to making hygiene products accessible to people worldwide, the university-owned hotel was able to divert nearly two years worth of leftover soap and shampoos, totaling over 6,500 pounds, to the organization.
Michigan State U Implements Campus-Wide Tobacco Ban
The campus-wide ban on the use of tobacco products, to begin mid-August, is part of an ongoing effort to ensure the community can enjoy the healthiest campus possible, which includes not only immediate physical health of humans, but the health of waterways. Cigarette butts release pollutants into the ecosystem as they break down.
Michigan State U Researchers Examine Building Demolition Process
To address the cycle of urban construction that leads to demolition of abandoned buildings, a university researcher is conducting a feasibility study to examine more sustainable options for managing abandoned properties. Rather than opting for demolition, where most materials are sent to the landfill, structures would be deconstructed for reuse and diverted from the landfill in an attempt to see if a different process could have both environmental and economic value to consumers.
North Carolina State U Pilots Zero Waste Workplace Program
In an effort to increase the waste diversion percentage from 50 to 65, the pilot Zero Waste Workplace program, coordinated by the university’s Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling, uses composting stations, desk-side mini waste bins, and self-service recycling and landfill sorting stations in one the campus' administrative buildings, which houses University Housekeeping and the University Sustainability Office.
Pennsylvania State U Sees Significant Reduction in Paper Use
By sharing helpful tips with students and faculty, students reduced paper usage by 44 percent and faculty by 10 percent in the 2015-16 academic year. A Paper Reduction Committee ran promotional campaigns on ways to reduce printing as well as promoted tips such as encouraging students to print double-sided, using the multiple pages per sheet printer function, and promoting use of an electronic document sharing solution.
U Texas Austin & Huston-Tillotson U Win College Sports Sustainability Contest
The University of Texas at Austin and Huston-Tillotson University were announced as the two inaugural winners of the College Sports Sustainability Makeover Contest at the Green Sports Alliance Summit. Designed to highlight college athletics' ability to influence fan sustainability behavior and boost college sports sustainability, the winners will receive a prize package valued at $50,000.
U British Columbia Diverts Nearly 100 Percent of Building C&D Waste
Nearly 100 percent of construction and demolition (C&D) waste from the university's General Services Administration building was diverted from the landfill by holding a sale of the equipment and furniture first, then ensuring the concrete and other debris were either reused or recycled.
Indiana U-Purdue U to Obtain Zero Waste Athletic Facility
The university's Natatorium will be ready to operate as a zero-waste athletic facility in June, becoming the first athletic facility in Indiana to achieve zero-waste goals and hosting the first Olympic event to have the zero-waste designation. Being a zero-waste venue means that by weight, 90 percent of all waste must be recycled or composted. Only 10 percent may be disposed of as trash.
U California San Diego Votes to End Single-Use Plastic Water Bottles
A recent Associated Students Council resolution calls for the restriction of the sale of plastic water bottles in on-campus locations and proposes the installation of new hydration stations as well as increased access to disposable boxed water in order to support the university’s aim to be more sustainable.
Northern Arizona U Begins Food Scrap Composting
In addition to implementing the EPA's Food Recovery Challenge that diverts and tracks organic waste and the Food Recovery Network that helps move food to food banks, a new student-led collaboration at the university yielded machines that grind and dehydrate food waste so that it can be more easily composted and used in campus landscaping.
NACUFS Announces Sustainability Award Winners
The National Association of College & University Food Services announced the 2016 awardees for its four categories. Outreach and Engagement winners are Brown University Dining Services (Gold), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Silver) and Virginia Tech University (Bronze). Waste Management winners are Princeton University (Gold), Colorado State University (Silver) and Johnson County Community College (Bronze). Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in the Procurement Practices category are, respectively, Harvard University Dining Services, University of Massachusetts Amherst and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Green Champion Student winner is Sarah Leann Ross at Colorado State University.
Michigan State U Students Discover Solution for Polystyrene
A group of students from the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE) program is researching the use of mealworms to degrade this material beyond the industry standard of 20 percent. Funded by the Be Spartan Green Student Project Fund, the Meals for Mealworms project was proposed, researched and executed by freshman students, earning them an invitation to the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Starts Styrofoam Recycling Program
Styrecycle, a specialty recycling program created in 2016 by the university, aims to reduce the volume of expanded polystyrene headed to the landfill by using a Styrofoam densifier, a machine that grinds the plastic into small beads and extrudes it in a very dense tube. A local company in Urbana houses and operates the University-owned densifier for free in exchange for the proceeds from the sale of densified Styrofoam.
Washington U St. Louis Releases Report on Bottled Water Ban
The new report indicates that bottled beverage sales at the university have plummeted 39 percent since 2009, a reduction of 567,000 bottles in the 2014-15 academic year relative to the 2008-09 academic year. The school initiated the ban as part of its comprehensive efforts to reduce its environmental impact.
American U Building Claims LEED Silver
Earning Silver certification in the LEED for Existing Buildings category, American University's Gray Hall features LEED-approved air-quality levels, adherence to a green cleaning program, water-efficient sinks, toilets and landscaping practices. The building uses 100 percent renewable energy via renewable energy credits and offsets.
RecycleMania Reports 2016 Tournament Results
Richland College, a two-year community college was recently crowned Grand Champion of the 2016 competition with a recycling rate of 82 percent. Loyola Marymount University won in the Per Capita Classic category with the highest total weight of recyclables per person, and North Lake College won in the Waste Minimization category with the least overall waste per person. Overall, 350 schools across North America recycled or composted a combined total of 79.3 million pounds of materials.
U South Carolina Enters Partnership with Biofuels Company
Through the new partnership, Midland Biofuels takes used cooking oil produced by the school and turns it into biofuel that they then sell. A portion of each gallon sold will then be donated to the university program. Midland Biofuels recently presented the university with $1,239 that will be used for sustainability programs on campus.
Wilfrid Laurier U Curbs End-of-Year Waste
The university's newest effort to reduce unwanted, end-of-year move-out material from going to the landfill includes a temporary drop-off site where students can deposit unwanted items to be recycled and reused.
Appalachian State U Becomes Styrofoam-Free
Moving one step closer to its zero waste goal (90 percent waste diversion), Appalachian Food Services eliminated the use of Styrofoam in its facilities as of April 2016.
Portland State U Offers Free Art Supplies
University art students looking for free supplies and materials have a new outlet on campus that is populated with unused and donated art supplies. Called the Supply Studio, the initiative is a collaboration between the School of Art + Design and the Campus Sustainability Office.
San Francisco State U Launches Cigarette Butt Recycling Program
The university's Office of Sustainability partnered with the Surfrider Foundation to install new ashcans in an effort to curb cigarette butt litter and pollution. The containers will be monitored by students who will send the butts to a recycling company, TerraCycle.
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.
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.
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.