Aquinas College Expands Composting, Recycling Efforts

Aquinas College (MI) has announced expanded campus composting and recycling programs. With bins now at every collection location on campus, all food waste can be composted including meat, bones and dairy products. The college has also streamlined its recycling efforts with one bin (single-stream recycling) at each location.

U Michigan-Flint Installs Water Refilling Stations

The University of Michigan-Flint has installed two pilot water bottle refilling stations. If successful, the university hopes to replace a quarter of the 68 water fountains on campus. A student, inspired by a petition to ban plastic bottles on the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus, initiated the project.

U Missouri Debuts Closed Loop Compost System

The University of Missouri's College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources has launched the “Zero Carbon Footprint Vegetable and Compost Production System.” The closed-loop system will combine food waste from the dining halls and animal manure from the university’s local research centers to create compost. The construction of the 2,400-square-foot facility was funded by matching grants of $35,000 from Campus Dining Services and the Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District.

Cornell U Shifts to Single Stream Recycling

Cornell University (NY) has announced a switch to single stream recycling to help reduce landfill waste and increase the cost-efficiency of waste handling. The university hopes to see a five percent increase in recycling across campus.

MIT Debuts 'Reverse Vending Machine'

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has partnered with Greenbean Recycling to pilot a Reverse Vending Machine. Students can type their phone number on a touch screen and deposit recyclables into the vending machine to be sorted for recycling. A bar-code reader inside counts the number of deposited items and uploads the data to the Greenbean website. Students can track their progress online and engage in friendly competition with fellow classmates on a recycling leaderboard. Greenbean is also offering prizes and other rewards to help increase recycling rates among students.

U California Berkeley Stadium Strives for Zero Waste

The University of California, Berkeley has announced that its renovated California Memorial Stadium will reopen in September 2012 as a zero waste zone. The effort is a collaboration between the university's Cal Athletics, Campus Recycling and Refuse Services, along with recycling collection company Recology. To help reach the goal, concessions, catering and merchandise partners will modify their menus and packaging, and bins for recycling and composting will replace trash containers.

U Chicago Diverts One-Third of Homecoming Waste

During its recent annual homecoming celebration, the University of Chicago (IL) diverted approximately one third of the event waste from the landfill with a compost program. An effort of the university's Dining Services and Green Campus Initiative, guests were encouraged to bring their plates, cups, utensils and extra food to compost stations.

Harvard U Faculty Club Works to Eliminate Bottled Water

Harvard University’s (MA) Faculty Club has partnered with the Office of Sustainability to reduce the club’s environmental footprint by cutting the emissions and waste from the delivery of bottled water. The club has installed new machines that dispense filtered carbonated or still water and has provided employees with reusable clear glass bottles. The university expects that the new machines will eliminate the use of more than 15,000 plastic and glass bottles per year.

Kirkwood CC Implements Campus Recycling Program

Kirkwood Community College (IA) has launched a new recycling program, Kirkwood Comingles. The program aims to make recycling easy for students and employees by accepting all materials in a single bin. The college expects the new initiative to help toward its goal to divert 75 percent of campus waste from the landfill by 2014.

U Denver Reduces Waste with Water Filling Stations

Tracking software on eight water filling stations recently installed at the University of Denver (CO) has revealed an estimated reduction of 72,077 plastic water bottles so far. The university is planning the installation of more stations throughout the rest of the academic year.

Cal Poly Pomona Horse Center to Incorporate Recycled Tires

California Polytechnic State University, Pomona's Arabian Horse Center will use about 34,000 old tires as pavement and rubber mats for its horse stalls. The university will recycle the tires with a $150,000 grant from CalRecycle.

U Colorado Colorado Springs Debuts E-Waste Recycling

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs has announced plans to expand its recycling program to include battery and electronic waste. Five-gallon containers will be placed throughout the campus and collected materials will be sent to Blue Star Recyclers of Southern Colorado. A variety of electronics will be accepted including computers, calculators, laptops and microwave ovens.

U North Alabama to Roll Out Recycling Program

The University of North Alabama has received a $113,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to strengthen ties between the City of Florence Recycling Center and the university. Part of the grant will be used to help purchase 18-gallon containers for every classroom, 96-gallon rolling carts for every building, aluminum can and plastic bottle receptacles, and a trailer for the Grounds Department to haul recyclables off campus. The grant will also be used for outreach to help increase campus-wide recycling awareness.

St. Mary's U College Bans Bottled Water

St. Mary's University College (AB) has eliminated the sale of bottled water on campus. With the idea that everyone should have access to clean drinking water, the college's Social Justice Committee began working on the ban 18 months ago. The campus has installed water bottle refilling stations that count how many single-use bottles are being saved.

U California Santa Barbara Pilots Campus-wide Composting

The University of California, Santa Barbara has announced plans to install six compost bins on recycling containers across campus to divert a larger portion of the university's food waste. The Composting Pilot project will retrofit up to 12 compost bins to comply with the a new state law that aims for California to recycle 75 percent of its waste by 2020. The Green Initiative Fund is financing the project as a trial to determine whether campus-wide waste diversion is a feasible project.

U South Florida Performs Food Waste Audit

The University of South Florida's Office of Sustainability hosted the university's first food waste audit in recognition of Campus Sustainability Day. Students were asked to weigh their waste prior to leaving the Juniper-Poplar dining hall in an effort to compare the university to the national average, as well as develop strategies for what to do with the leftover food. The university may expand the audit to all campus dining halls in the future.

Illinois Institute of Technology Installs Composter

The Illinois Institute of Technology has installed a new composter that will divert waste for use as fertilizer and soil amendment on campus. The project was initiated by a group of students in partnership with the Office of Campus Energy and Sustainability, the Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research and Cook County.

Arkansas State U Installs E-Waste Recycling Bins

Arkansas State University has installed two electronic waste recycling bins. Personal cell phones, rechargeable batteries, ink cartridges and other electronics up to five pounds can be recycled. Facilities Management has partnered with MARCK Recycling and WW Recycling to cover the cost of the bins.

Western Washington U Installs Water Bottle Refilling Stations

Western Washington University has installed three water bottle refilling stations as part of its student-led "Think Outside the Bottle" campaign. The campus Green Energy Fee provided $21,000 to fund the project.

U Calgary Hosts Waste-Free Event

The University of Calgary recently hosted its largest zero-waste event. Everything served at the president's barbecue for 3,500 undergraduate students was compostable or recyclable.

U Iowa Recycles, Composts 90% Waste at President's Event

The University of Iowa diverted 90 percent of the waste generated at its recent President's Block Party from the landfill. Volunteers staffed 45 portable collection bins to collect compostable and recyclable materials.

Capilano U Launches Pilot Program to Improve Recycling Habits

Capilano University (BC) has partnered with Encorp Pacific to launch a pilot program aimed at increasing student use of on-site containers for recyclable beverages. New recycling bins with better signage will be placed around campus and the university will involve nearly 100 students in the project as part of their coursework.

Temple U Dining Services Launches 'Waste Not' Initiative

Temple University's (PA) Dining Services and Sodexo have launched the Waste Not Project, a week-long effort to raise awareness about the nutritional and environmental implications of portion sizes and food waste. Members of several student groups have volunteered to weigh the food left on each student's tray as it is returned and record how much is being thrown away. After the conclusion of the awareness week, Dining Services will track students' waste reduction progress by posting waste numbers monthly.

Lehigh U Implements 'PaperCut' Policy

Lehigh University’s (PA) Library and Technology Services has implemented a PaperCut policy as a print management solution aimed to cut paper waste. To curb the yearly 5.6 million sheets of paper used as a result of unlimited paper use, students will now have a $75 print allowance.

U Chicago Reduces Waste of Annual Picnic by Composting

The University of Chicago (IL) collected seven bags of compost during the recent Facilities Services Annual Picnic. By introducing composting bins for the first time, the event recycled or composted all waste with the exception of ice cream wrappers and potato chip bags.

Vancouver Island U to Ban Bottled Water

Vancouver Island University's (BC) administration and student union have announced plans for a “Ban the Bottle” campaign in an effort to clear all plastic water bottles from campus by June 2012. The plan began as part of a national initiative in partnership with other student unions associated with the Canadian Federation of Students. The university is currently planning how the phase-out will look including the replacement of vending machines on campus with hydration stations.

Claremont McKenna College Installs Food Decomposers

Claremont McKenna College (CA) has installed two food decomposers in its cafeteria dish room. The soil amendment produced by the decomposers will reduce food waste volume and weight by 95 percent without using the space, water and energy necessary for composting. The college will use the soil in the community garden and other campus locations. The machines were also locally manufactured.

Denison U Goes Paper-Free with Admissions Application Process

Denison University (OH) has announced that its Office of Admissions has moved to a completely electronic application process. With the new system, all aspects of the application process are controlled online, eliminating the need for paper hard copies.

Humboldt State U Announces Bottled Water Phase Out

Humboldt State University (CA) has announced plans to completely phase out the sale of plastic water bottles on campus. Throughout the fall semester, the university's Dining Services will stop selling single-use plastic water bottles at all campus marketplaces and eateries, and the university will discontinue the availability of plastic water bottles in campus vending machines. Two hydration stations have been installed on campus and the university plans to retrofit more water fountains to accommodate reusable water containers.

Southern Connecticut State U Debuts Single Stream Recycling

Southern Connecticut State University has implemented a single stream recycling program and placed two solar-powered compactors on campus. Together, the initiatives are expected to reduce labor costs and the university will re-evaluate the frequency of its waste pick-up during the academic year.

U Maine Campus Shifts to Single Stream Recycling

The University of Maine has made the shift to single stream recycling, eliminating the need for an on-campus sorting facility. In addition to the economic benefits, the university aims to decrease the amount of campus waste.

U Nevada Las Vegas Installs Solar Trash Compactor

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas has installed a solar-powered trash compactor. The Green Built compactor will operate on solar power more than 85 percent of the time and can handle up to 160 cubic yards of trash a month. The university’s previous electric compactor was scheduled for biweekly emptying, full or not, at a lease rate of $4,200 a month. The new compactor has software that reports when it’s full, enabling a scheduled pick-up only when needed. Officials project a savings of approximately $2,500 per month. The university also plans to add a solar-powered compactor for single stream recyclables by the end of the year.

Yale U Medical School Saves Paper with iPads

In an effort to save paper and make course materials more accessible, Yale University's (CT) School of Medicine has announced that it will provide all students with an iPad 2 for use in classroom and clinical settings. Students will be able to download the entire medical curriculum on the device. The school aims to save the $100,000 spent each year to copy, collate and distribute course materials. With an initial expenditure of $600,000 on the new iPads, the university expects that the money saved on printing expenses over the years will cover the cost of the devices.

Appalachian State U Installs Solar Trash Compactors

Appalachian State University (NC) has installed four solar-powered trash compactors on campus as part of its student-led Renewable Energy Initiative. The compactors have a small photovoltaic system that is used to compress the contents when a certain weight is reached. The unit also contains a recycling container. The compactors were purchased with funds generated through a green fee paid by students.

California State U San Marcos Develops Compost System

Using coffee grounds and raw fruit and vegetable trimmings, California State University, San Marcos has developed a low-maintenance compost system to provide nutrient-rich soil for campus landscaping. The new program is a result of waste diversion discussions with nearby campuses that participated in this year's RecycleMania.

Macalester College Bans Bottled Water

Macalester College (MN) has eliminated the sale and provision of bottled water as part of its overall sustainability and climate neutrality initiatives. Bottled water will no longer be sold at the campus store, food concessions, athletic events or vending machines and will not be used for catering or purchased with college funds. The college is upgrading its water fountains and will continue to have jug water stations throughout campus.

U Iowa Converts to Single Stream Recycling

The University of Iowa has phased in a new single-stream recycling program. The system integrates a user-friendly approach that will help colleges and departments meet the university’s 2020 Vision goal of 60 percent waste diversion. The university expects the new system to streamline the process, create efficiencies and improve the recycling efforts of the campus community.

College of St. Benedict Bans Bottled Water

The College of St. Benedict (MN) has banned the sale of bottled water on campus. The ban prohibits the sale and purchase of all bottled water in vending machines, dining venues, the bookstore and at all athletic events. Campus offices will also no longer have traditional water coolers. The college has installed 31 hydration stations around campus with at least one in each building. The cost to install the stations is offset by the elimination of the water cooler contracts.

Florida Int'l U Recycles Discontinued Student ID Cards

To deter the potential waste caused by a switch to a new official on-campus identification card, Florida International University has announced that it will partner with a company that recycles old plastic cards into new cards for purchase by other companies. More than 50,000 obsolete Panther student identification cards will be saved from the landfill and in the future, the university will have the option to purchase cards from its recycled Panther cards.

Humboldt State U to Divert 100% Organic Waste

Humboldt State University (CA) has partnered with the Humboldt Waste Management Authority and Environmental Science Associates to divert 100 percent of its organic waste by December 2012. Pre- and post-consumer organic waste created at the university will be collected from campus eateries and newly installed, wildlife-resistant compost bins around campus. Organic waste will be taken to a new anaerobic food waste digester where the treated waste will produce methane, to be used to create electricity to power a local wastewater treatment plant. The second product of biodigestion will create fertilizer.

U Buffalo Converts to Single-Stream Recycling

The University at Buffalo (NY) has implemented a single-stream recycling program that no longer requires that recyclables be sorted according to type. The new program is expected to make recycling easier and lead to the diversion of more campus materials from landfills. The list of items that can be recycled has also been expanded. The conversion of the containers has been gradual and more than 1,000 old recycling lids will be donated to Buffalo State College.

Appalachian State U Pilots Program to Remove Classroom Trash Cans

Appalachian State University (NC) has developed a pilot program to remove trash cans from campus classrooms in an effort to increase recycling rates and improve collection efficiency across campus. Recycling and trash collection containers will be placed throughout the hallways in each building for convenience. The university expects the program to increase campus recycling rates and improve waste collection and recycling efficiency. In addition, expenses associated with the costs of trash bags will be reduced.

U Missouri Dining Starts Composting Program

The University of Missouri’s Campus Dining Services has partnered with the Bradford Extension Farm to compost discarded dining hall food. The farm plans to combine food waste with animal waste to make compost and will use the compost to grow vegetables to be served on campus. The university is currently constructing an aerated compost facility. The potential in food waste is up to 250 tons per year of compostable food. The Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District has donated a grant to help cover the costs of the new facility.

U Oregon Initiates Take Back the Tap Campaign

The University of Oregon’s Dining Services has announced plans to implement a pilot program in support of the Take Back the Tap campaign in the fall. The campaign is a trademark of Food and Water Watch that promotes access to quality tap water and the discontinued use of plastic water bottles. Members of the university's Climate Justice League received support for the campaign in May from the university's president, and recently held meetings with Student Affairs, Housing and Athletics in an effort to promote the use of tap water over sales of single-use plastic bottled water. The campaign has also received support from Fraternity and Sorority Life, Campus Recycling, various student groups and more than 1,700 students. To encourage more student interest, the Climate Justice League has installed more than 25 spigots, posted informative fliers and handed out reusable water bottles.

Kansas State U Students Research Ways to Increase Recycling Rates

Students at Kansas State University have conducted research on ways to improve campus recycling rates. The group collected data and compiled statistics for the university’s recycling committee. The research, coupled with surveys of students, faculty and staff, suggested that single-stream recycling could be more effective.

Middlebury College Diverts Used Astroturf from Landfill

Middlebury College (VT) has begun replacing 95,000 square feet of Astroturf that covered the field hockey course. To avoid sending the Astroturf to the landfill, a large portion of the turf will be donated to the community’s recreation center to be used for miniature golf courses. The rest of the carpet will be sent to Georgia to be used in various recreational facilities.

U Minnesota Partners with Neighborhood to Reduce Waste

The University of Minnesota's ReUse Center partnered with the Southeast Como Neighborhood Improvement Association for the recent Move In/Move Out (MIMO) Free Store. This year's effort attracted more than 800 shoppers and diverted more than 6,000 pounds of goods from the landfill this year. The store, which runs at the end of spring semester and the beginning of fall semester, encourages students and the community to donate household goods like tables, chairs and bookcases instead of throwing them away.

Bucknell U Partners with Local Farm for Composting Operation

Bucknell University’s (PA) Dining Services has partnered with Rowse Howse Farms to launch a composting operation. The local farm has agreed to collect the ground-up remains of vegetables, fruit, meat, pizza crusts, unbleached napkins and other biodegradable waste at no cost to the university. Nearly 850 pounds a day of compost material will be collected and taken to a composting operation at the 10-acre farm.

Oregon State U Breaks 2010 Donation Drive Record

Oregon State University’s residence hall donation drive successfully collected 17,558 pounds of clothes, furniture and other items, exceeding the 2010 record of 11,651 pounds. The university’s Campus Recycling, Surplus Property and University Housing and Dining worked together to collect the discarded material. Seventeen local volunteers worked 70 hours to collect, receive, sort and donate the usable goods. Surplus Property sold a few of the items to recoup the costs of the donation drive, but most other donated materials went to local organizations.

U South Florida Installs Water Refilling Stations

In an effort to discourage the use and disposal of plastic water bottles, the University of South Florida has installed water bottle refilling stations connected to water fountains on campus. The university has currently installed 15 stations across campus but expects to install more in the fall. A counter is keeping track of the plastic bottles saved as each re-usable container is filled.