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.
Virginia Tech Eliminates Foam To-Go Containers
(U.S.): With the high number of complaints about the university's use of foam containers, the university recently transitioned to compostable to-go containers available in four different sizes.
U Arkansas Launches Zero Waste Resource
The university's Office of Sustainability has developed a process for event planners to follow to achieve event landfill diversion rates of 90 percent or more. The sustainability office offers containers, scales and other materials for free check out in addition to interns for consultation.
Utah State U Installs Composting System
Contributing to the university's greenhouse gas reduction targets, the new Earth Flow compost unit handles approximately 25 tons annually of landscape waste and post-consumer food from the university. Each batch takes roughly three weeks to create usable landscaping material.
Clark U Expands Composting Capacity
Clark Composts, a student group dedicated to education and expansion of campus composting, assisted in expanding intake of compostable material by equipping the library with bins. The student group will focus next on instituting composting in the newest residence hall and in academic departments.
U Northern British Columbia Reduces Food Waste
Since October 2014, more than 1,000 pounds of food have been provided to local charities from the university's Food Recovery Project that collects and redistributes the surplus food from a new dining hall.
Florida State U Begins Food Recovery Network Chapter
The new student chapter recovers leftover pre-made food from various locations across campus, including home football games and soon, baseball games, and delivers it to various partner agencies around the city, where it is later distributed to people living in shelters or those who are in need.
Florida A&M U Opens Recycling Center
The university's new recycling center will manage and encourage the collection, sorting and processing of recyclables, such as paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and aluminum cans. The new center will also house a cardboard bailer and provide workspace for student interns and volunteers to assist with the recycling program.
392 Colleges Compete in RecycleMania Tournament
This year's competition to encourage waste reduction and recycling on higher education campuses features participation from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. New this year, students can post digital messages and selfies that document their reduction efforts in order to earn points.
Chicago State U Implements Campus Recycling
(U.S.): As part of the university's Go Green initiative, buildings now have paper, plastic and aluminum recycling bins available throughout campus. This is the first campus-wide recycling plan implemented at the university in over a decade.
Knox College Completes Waste Free Move
(U.S.): Over the most recent winter break, 70 staff and faculty moved, including the contents of five storage rooms, to a newly renovated building without renting a dumpster or increasing its regular trash pickup schedule.
St. Edward's U Reuses Staff Uniforms
(U.S.): Expecting to replace worn out staff uniforms once or twice per year, the university partnered with a locally-owned and operated textile recycling company to repurpose them into dust rags.
West Liberty U Adds 400 Recycling Bins
(U.S.): After past surveys revealed that 84 percent of the campus community would recycle if it was more convenient, the university, aided by funding from West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, added bins to common areas, classrooms and offices.
U Tennessee Knoxville Opens Public Recycling Drop Off Site
The newly designated site for faculty, staff and students accepts paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, steel and aluminum cans, electronic waste, printer cartridges, batteries and scrap metal. In addition to this new site, the university's recycling program is providing at least one dumpster at all residence halls.
Vanderbilt U Extends Recycling to Glass
Spurred by students, the university's Sustainability and Environmental Management Office has recently expanded access to glass recycling to six new campus locations and converted bins designated as event-only to public bins.
2014 GameDay Recycling Challenge Spotlights Leaders
The 2014 results highlight those institutions with the highest total waste diversion rate, with Humboldt State University at the top of the leader board at 86.05 percent, and highest total recyclable material in pounds, Clemson University at the top with 60,724 pounds recycled. The GameDay Recycling Challenge is a friendly competition for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction at their football games. During the challenge, colleges and universities implement waste reduction programs during home football games, track and report the data.
U California Santa Cruz Library Transitions to Zero Waste
As part of a collaborative pilot program between university Grounds, the Sustainability Office, Custodial Services and the library, more than 40 four-stream waste stations will be set up throughout McHenry Library for trash, paper, contained recyclables and compostable waste, and desk-side bins have been modified to accept compostable material.
SUNY Oneonta Opens Thrift Shop
At the new secondhand store items include clothing, shoes, accessories and books, and has a pay what you will policy with $3 as the suggested price for most items.
U Maryland to Implement Composting in Residence Halls
After the Student Government Association and the Residence Hall Association passed resolutions in support, starting in the spring, students in some dorms will be able to use composting bins as part of an pilot initiative to decrease the university’s environmental impact.
Inside Higher Ed: Trashing Morale?
(U.S.): West Virginia University recently switched to single stream recycling. Along with this change, the institution recently announced that faculty members must begin taking out their own garbage and recyclables to central collection stations in order to encourage recycling. Custodial staff will no longer empty individual office trash and recycling bins, which creates higher efficiencies. Overall the change has been received well, but there are some faculty who object to the manner in which the university carried out the change.
San Diego State U Pairs Trash and Recycling Bins
(U.S.): In an effort to make recycling easier on campus, the recycling department is co-locating trash and recycling bins around campus and re-labeling all the bins to create consistent messaging.
U Tennessee Spurs Plastic Water Bottle Reduction Initiative
The new Take Back the Tap campaign is part of a national initiative aimed at reducing the consumption of single-use plastic water bottles on college campuses. Food and Water Watch, an organization that primarily provides resources for campus coordinators as they work to debunk myths about tap and bottled water, is currently working with over 60 colleges across the United States to encourage students to make a habit of choosing tap water over bottled water.
U North Carolina Chapel Hill Installs Solar Trash Compactors
University Grounds Services has initiated a pilot program of two solar-powered, compacting trash cans and recycling bins on campus aiming to increase trash collection efficiency. Grounds Services will evaluate the efficiency of the cans after six months to a year to determine if more should be installed throughout campus.
U South Alabama SGA Funds Waste Diversion Initiatives
The two projects selected by the university's Student Government Association for funding include an expansion of recycling from only plastic to plastic, aluminum and paper, and help to subside the start-up costs of a large-scale composting program.
U Wisconsin Oshkosh Implements Single Stream Recycling
Joining the regional recycling system, the new recycling scenario includes blue bins across campus that accept paper, plastics and cans. The recyclables are sent to the county recycling facility where workers hand-sort the discarded material.
Georgia State U Strives to Minimize Food Waste
The university championed its first Hunger Awareness Month by educating students on excessive food waste associated with overloading plates with food. Volunteers in the dining hall weighed patrons food waste resulting in monthly posters declaring food waste totals.
U San Diego Student Club Challenges Campus to BYOC
(U.S.): Students from the university's Net Impact chapter launched a month-long Kill the Cup campaign aimed at reducing the amount of one-time use cups heading to the landfill by offering incentives to campus members who bring their own coffee cup.
Louisiana State U to Improve Lakes
A recent $10,000 grant will allow the university to increase recycling opportunities in and around Campus Lake to help reach the recycling goal of 50 percent in 2014.
West Philadelphia Institutions to See Sustainable Shop
A new sustainable coffee and retail shop from United By Blue will open soon in University City, a western part of Philadelphia that is home to the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. For each product sold, the company removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways through local cleanups.
U Western Ontario Increase Recycling Efforts
(Canada): Coffee cups, fountain drink cups and the accompanying lids are now recyclable to divert 100 tons of waste annually toward their goal of diverting 90 percent of waste from landfills.
Auburn U Goes Styrofoam Free
Starting this semester, the university replaced styrofoam with paper products to increase recycling and eliminate waste from landfills in an effort to achieve a zero waste campus.
Macalester College Pledges Zero Waste
In an effort to divert waste from landfills and incinerators, the university recently implemented campus wide composting, a new program to repurpose food waste and reusable take-out containers.