Loyola U Maryland Implements Zero-Tolerance Policy on Plastic Bags

In an effort to avoid being fined for recycling contamination, on Jan. 1, 2018, Loyola implemented a zero-tolerance policy on plastic bags found in campus recycling bins. The university could be fined $950 for contamination, which also includes food, liquids or non-recyclable material.

Culver Academies Begins Food Recovery Program

Culver is now repackaging its leftover food, freezing it, and then providing it to three different agencies for distribution to elderly in the area.

North Carolina State U Launches Composting Program in Campus Apartments

Residents of a campus apartment complex now have access to kitchen composting courtesy of a compost collection program started by a student. So far, about 60 apartments are participating in the program, which requires residents to empty their containers in an outdoor composting dumpster. The material is then transported to a nearby composting facility for processing.

Northern Arizona U Pilots Reusable Containers

In an effort to reduce waste and recycling, the university implemented a program in January 2018 to gauge student interest in using reusable containers. Students pay a one-time fee of $5 for a container that can be used at several dining facilities. The NAU Green Fund spearheaded the campaign to get the container system on campus.

Princeton U Pilots Food Waste Biodigester

Beginning in February 2018, the university will pilot an in-vessel aerobic digester that will convert a portion of campus food waste into a soil amendment for university grounds, while serving as a living laboratory for multi-disciplinary investigations into all aspects of food waste conversion.

North Carolina State U Uses Compostable Cups

Through a new partnership between the University Sustainability Office and Waste Reduction and Recycling, NC State Dining started using compostable cups in early January at two major dining locations on campus. This expands an existing compostable selection at the student union that includes napkins, to-go containers and single-use bamboo plates.

Emory U Students Create Educational Waste Diversion Videos

Multiple two-minute videos were created by Emory students that educate viewers about the importance of landfill waste diversion, including the social and environmental impacts of landfills. The videos were submitted on behalf of a video competition as part of the university's zero waste commitment, which aims to divert 95 percent of campus waste from municipal landfills by 2025.

Emory U Creates Zero Waste Policy

In an effort to divert 95 percent of campus waste from municipal landfills by 2025, the university recently formalized its commitment by publishing a new waste management policy that engages the entire campus in the push to enhance recycling efforts. The new policy calls for adding additional collection stations, making existing stations more efficient and creating a new team to assist with removal of compost and recycling at campus stations.

Cornell U Living Lab Waste Project Reduces Contamination

The student club WasteNot prototyped designs for waste sorting signage that is more user-friendly and inclusive of the international community by featuring clear directions in several languages and visual cues. In the first pilot with the redesigned signage, total contamination dropped by 10 percent for landfill, 17 percent for recycling and 19 percent for compost. Plans are underway to roll out piloted designs across campus facilities.

Indiana U Bloomington Receives $50K to Convert Emissions to Fertilizer

A $50,000 grant from Duke Energy will help Indiana University Bloomington convert emissions from its heating plant into fertilizer using a photo-bioreactor. The fertilizer will be used in the more than 200 flower beds across campus.

Louisiana State U Cleans Up Litter With Social Campaign

A new awareness campaign aims to beautify the campus by encouraging the campus community to pick up litter, snap a photo and upload it to social media. The photos will be part of a photo contest with the winning photo displayed in the art gallery of the student union.

Northwestern U Introduces Reusable Cup Vending

The Cats Cups program aims to reduce the amount of waste from disposable cups and glasses by giving students the option to fill a specially designed reusable bottle. Students can purchase the cup with unlimited refills for $65.

American College Greece Launches New Sustainability Website

(Greece) The new website includes information about the college's sustainability efforts in education and research, operations, and community engagement. It also houses a sustainability game, news and events, and a pledge that asks signers to implement sustainable behaviors.

Southern Oregon U Introduces Dish Loan Program

The Sustainability Resource Center at Southern Oregon launched a new program to loan reusable dishes and utensils for free at campus events in an effort to move toward zero waste events.

Messiah College Offsets Printing With Planting

The college is participating in PrintReleaf, which allows organizations to reduce their environmental impact by automatically planting trees to offset their paper consumption. Through the program, Messiah plants an average of six trees per month in Madagascar.

Trinity College Dublin Students Pass Motion to End Single-Use Plastic Bags

(Ireland) The Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union passed a motion that seeks to replace single-use plastic items on campus with compostable alternatives.

Arizona State U Student Spearheads Lab-Glove Recycling Program

A junior majoring in sustainability and interning at Kimberly Clark, a paper company, started a lab glove recycling program in partnership with Kimberly Clark called RightCycle. Lab gloves are collected with special cardboard boxes, sent to recycling centers and processed into plastic pellets or nitrile powder, which can then be used to manufacture anything plastic.

Fort Lewis College Receives $355K to Further Food Security

The Environmental Center at Fort Lewis College, along with community partners, have been awarded a $355,000, three-year U.S. Department of Agriculture Local Food Promotion grant to launch a Durango Regional Food Recovery Hub. The initiative will address food insecurity, create secondary markets for farmers, and offer student learning opportunities.

U Reading Reduces Vending Machine Waste

(U.K.) In an effort to prevent more than half a million plastic bottles from entering the landfill, new vending machines allow students to use a specially designed reusable bottle. The "Sustain It" bottle is a reusable bottle that contains a microchip that allows users to pre-pay for drinks that can be filled at the new vending machines.

North Carolina State U Introduces Professional Clothes Exchange

Through the Wolfpack Styled clothing reuse program, the university’s Career Development Center connects students with free professional clothes while also reducing textile waste. Student interns and volunteers organize and sort donations, which have come from faculty, staff, alumni and a local, alumni-owned consignment store.

Florida State U Marching Band Eliminates Paper Flip Charts

Band members are using an attachment called “eFlip” to mount smartphones with marching materials onto their instruments. The move is expected to save 200,000 sheets of paper a year.

Pomona College Provides Students With Free Access to Reusable Menstrual Care Products

The college has partnered with Diva International Inc. to provide its students with free access to a reusable, eco-friendly alternative to tampons and pads known as The Diva Cup.

U Maryland Expands Campus Compost Collection

The Office of Solid Waste and Recycling has successfully expanded campus waste diversion to include compost collection sites at 25 locations, including 12 residence halls.

National Recycling Coalition Announces 2017 Award Winners

The University of Florida received this year's Outstanding Higher Education award from the National Recycling Coalition (NRC), while the University of Illinois at Chicago was recognized as honorable mention. The NRC mentioned UF’s Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management and curricular opportunities for waste professionals. The University of Illinois at Chicago was cited for its Sustainability Internship Program.

Cleveland State U Receives Grant to Expand Recycling Program

Thanks to a new $3,000 grant from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, the university installed 24 battery recycling receptacles across campus. A portion of the grant also will be used to obtain additional recycling bins for bottles, cans and paper.

Orange Coast College Debuts $7.5M Recycling Center

The new facility accepts a variety of recyclable materials from the community. It also houses classrooms and offices, a conference room, a first aid room, men’s and women’s showers, as well as solar panels and solar tubes for indoor lighting.

U Albany Renovates Building to LEED Standards

The $10.3 million project on the 51-year-old residence hall included mechanical, plumbing, electric and lighting systems replacement, new energy-efficient windows, a new roof, new bathrooms, updated laundry facilities, and community study and recreation spaces. Recycled content and low-VOC materials were used.

U Florida Receives LEED Gold on Building Renovation

The newly renovated building designed for study and collaboration space includes systems for reusing wastewater, and use of regional and recycled materials. No additional parking spaces were added for the building during renovation.

Bournemouth U Initiates Employee Sustainability Program

After a six-month pilot of a behavior change program reduced energy consumption by 14.6 percent across four departments, the university is expanding the program to all staff members. The initiative works by engaging employees on a range of themes through an online platform and app. Employees are rewarded with points for reducing their environmental footprint and improving their well-being through measures such as cycling, car-sharing or using re-usable cups and bottles.

Eastern Kentucky U Athletics Launches Litter Prevention Program

The university and the EKU Athletics Department will start a litter prevention initiative this fall that allows student athletics to use their community service hours to clean up designated parts of campus.

U College London Pilots Paper Cup Recycling

(U.K.) The two month pilot is intended to determine the viability of rolling out a permanent paper cup recycling service. During the pilot, paper cups, including those used for coffee and soft drinks, will be collected separately and taken to a mill where the polymer plastic liner will be separated so all the paper fiber can be recovered and recycled.

U Notre Dame Announces Waste Diversion Plans for 2017 Football Season

For the first time, fans will be able to recycle bottles, cans and paper products inside the stadium via single-stream recycling receptacles. A game day food donation program has also been developed to decrease waste from the stadium while providing consumable food to local nonprofit agencies.

Dartmouth College Deploys Reusable To-Go Containers

After two years of research and assistance from the Dartmouth Office of Sustainability and Dartmouth Dining Services, a student helped launch the Green2Go food takeout program, which replaces the disposable to-go containers with reusable ones. The program involves a one-time payment of $4 for a reusable container. Used containers can be dropped off at any dining location on campus.

Florida International U Places Recycling/Food Donation Hubs Across Campus

New visually appealing collection bins have been installed across campus to accept small electronics, plastics and food donations. Previously, cardboard boxes were used to collect food donations.

Purdue U, St. John's U & Towson U Win RecycleMania's 2017 Campus Engagement Case Study Competition

Purdue University won the Waste Minimization category; St. John's University won the Food Waste Reduction category; and Towson University won the Education and Awareness Campaign category. Unlike traditional RecycleMania categories that rank based on recycling, food waste or trash weights, this is a judged competition that recognizes schools based on the creativity and impact of their efforts. North Lake College and Stanford University won honorable mention.

U Wisconsin Madison Meets Student Needs With Food Hub

The UW Campus Food Shed is a new program that gives students and faculty access to free vegetables and produce, stocked by university agriculture researchers and local farms with excess crops. Many of these excess crops would otherwise be composted or thrown out.

Goucher College to Relocate Three Residence Halls

The college is relocating and repurposing three 1,300-ton residence halls to make room for two brand new buildings on its Towson campus. The three-week relocation will cost Goucher about $7.6 million, to be paid for through a combination of debt proceeds and donor contributions.

California State U Sacramento Becomes First Keep America Beautiful Collegiate Affiliate

Keep America Beautiful announced that Sacramento State is now its first collegiate affiliate and that it hopes the partnership will result in a model that can be adopted at colleges and universities across the nation. Through the partnership, students will have access to volunteer and internship opportunities. The university will be able to share data from student and faculty research, as well as tap additional resources such as grants, research and programmatic resources available through Keep America Beautiful.

U Birmingham Pilots Coffee Grounds Reuse Program

(U.K.) The 12-month pilot program aims to collect spent coffee grounds from catering outlets across campus that will be sent to a recycling company for processing into biofuels, such as fuel starter logs and pellets for industrial use.

U Hong Kong Bans Disposable Plastic Water Bottles

(Hong Kong) Ditch Disposable, a university-wide waste reduction and awareness campaign, was launched in spring 2017 on behalf of World Water Day with the announcement of a new policy that seeks to eliminate on-campus sale and distribution of single-use water bottles of one liter or less in volume.

Pac-12 Releases Zero Waste Bowl Results

The Pac-12 Road Zero Waste Bowl provides a friendly and spirited platform for Pac-12 universities to engage on best practices in waste diversion and to learn how each campus strives toward zero waste goals. The winners of the Zero Waste Bowl for the 2016-17 basketball season, in order of rank, are the University of California, Berkeley, diversion rate of 94 percent; the University of Colorado, Boulder, diversion rate of 92 percent; and University of Arizona, with a diversion rate of 65 percent.

Loyola Marymount U & Rhode Island School of Design Win RecycleMania

With a recycling rate of more than 83.9 percent, Loyola Marymount University is the top school in the Diversion category, while the Rhode Island School of Design is first in the Per Capita Classic category. RecycleMania is an annual waste reduction and recycling competition among colleges and universities, managed by Keep America Beautiful.

Millersville U Receives Grant to Establish Sustainability Ambassadors

PepsiCo Recycling Zero Impact Fund will give the university $5,750 to establish a group of Student Sustainability Ambassadors that will run campus events that focus on conserving energy, reducing waste and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

North Carolina State U Pilots Cotton Textile Composting

After reading a blog detailing cotton composting at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, a student in the university's College of Textiles launched a pilot program to collect cotton waste and compost that waste at the university’s Compost Learning Lab. The aim of the project is to figure out what works, doesn’t work and whether there’s future opportunity to implement a permanent cotton compost program.

Green America Challenges Schools to Save One Million Trees

The nonprofit Green America’s Better Paper Project launched One Million Trees recently in an effort to encourage higher education institutions to publish alumni magazines on recycled paper in order to save trees and reduce landfill waste. Green America estimates that if all colleges used 100 percent recycled paper for their alumni publications, this could have annual savings up to one million trees and enough water to fill over 700 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

U Wyoming Launches Waste Reduction Initiative Aimed at Athletic Events

The Conservation Cowboys, an initiative that aims to reduce waste and resource use at athletics facilities and events, was recently piloted at an athletic event that resulted in the diversion of 266 pounds of the total 659 pounds of waste materials. A total of 35 volunteers from eight student organizations and four operational and academic units volunteered in the event.

Williams College Students Turn Leftovers Into Donations

Leftover meals that went unserved in the dining halls are now being gathered up by students, packaged into meals and delivered by volunteers from several different student organizations under an umbrella initiative known as "The Campus Kitchens Project," a leading national nonprofit empowering students to fight hunger and food waste. Student volunteers pick up food three nights a week from campus dining halls, chill the food for 24 hours, and then package the meals for deliveries to multiple affordable housing communities.

U Virginia Hosts First Zero Waste ACC Game

With the help of 75 student volunteers, UVA Athletics, Aramark and the Office for Sustainability, fans at the sold-out Atlantic Coast Conference game recycled and composted 94 percent of all waste generated at the arena as part of this year’s Game Day Challenge. The nationwide Game Day Challenge contest promotes waste diversion at college basketball games.

PepsiCo Recycling Names Eight Zero Impact Fund Winners

The recipients of its Zero Impact Fund, an expansion of PepsiCo Recycling’s college and university programs to help bring campus eco-innovations to life, are Centre College, Johnson County Community College, Millersville University, Northern Kentucky University, University of California Berkeley, University of California Irvine, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and University of Northern Iowa. Winning project proposals include compost infrastructure development, student education and engagement campaigns, renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, zero-waste programs, a bike-share program and landfill diversion programs.

Utah State U Initiates Recycling Education Week

In an effort to reduce contamination and increase waste diversion rates, the university will have volunteers available to instruct students about recycling correctly during a week-long recycling awareness event. New recycling bins will also be installed that have sensors thanking people who recycle.