U Calgary Expands Campus Recycling Program

Beginning in fall of 2016, the university will convert all paper & cardboard recycling bins to accept all recyclables, including paper, cardboard, plastics, tin and foil. This expansion to the university's waste reduction and recycling program aligns with a new City of Calgary bylaw requiring all businesses and organizations to recycle a broader list of materials.

North Carolina State U Expands Composting in Football Stadium

Building on the success of a compost program piloted last football season, waste stations will be located on the concourse level and staffed by student and community volunteers, who will help fans sort waste into composting, landfill or recycling bins. For the first time inside the stadium, workers who clean up after the game will separate recyclable and compostable materials from landfill items.

U Arizona Holds First Salvage Sale

In an effort to reduce the landfill waste, the Office of Sustainability and Residence Life coordinated an end-of-year move-out campaign to capture unwanted materials and recently held a sale of those items that collected over $9,000. Of the materials that were obtained at the end of the year, some of the items were donated to local charities, such as a women's resource center, a veteran center and homeless shelter.

Millersville U Turns Plastic Bottles into Table & Bench

The two new pieces of outdoor furniture were made from plastics that were discarded in recycle bins and locally manufactured into lumber-style pieces.

North Carolina State U Lifts Resource Burden for Low-Income Students

A new program called Pack2Pack connects under-resourced students within the Pack Promise program with used, unwanted home furnishings that would otherwise go to local landfills.

Northern Arizona U Becomes Smoke and Tobacco Free Campus

As of July, a new university policy is in effect that extends the smoking ban from inside university buildings and vehicles to all outdoor campus areas including parking lots and athletic fields.

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.

Southern Illinois U Carbondale Allocates $280K to Sustainability Projects

New lighting, a lactation station, vermicomposting, and t-shirt and paper recycling are among the projects selected as the newest recipients of Green Fund awards.

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.

College Atlantic Students Use $10K for Zero Waste in Lebanon

Funded by a $10,000 award from the Projects for Peace initiative, two College of the Atlantic students aim to create a town-wide recycling system in the Lebanon student's hometown.

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.

Johns Hopkins U Adds Sustainability to Challenge Initiative

The university's Idea Lab, an initiative that seeks collective input to shape the trajectory of the university, now includes the Hopkins Eco-Smart Acorn Grants. This new challenge provides an opportunity to identify and submit ideas that advance the university's mission to encourage responsible actions that prioritize people, natural resources and finances to safeguard the health of future generations. The other two challenges of Idea Lab are community and diversity.

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.