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Center for Sustainability

Center for Sustainability


There are many ongoing efforts to reduce waste on campus, first by reducing the total materials brought to campus, then through reuse opportunities, and finally through diverting these materials to recycling and compost. 

The Center for Sustainability provides building level waste minimization consulting to make waste collection more efficient. This includes mapping current practices, identifying bin locations for best practices, providing educational programming, and measuring change through longitudinal sampling through waste audits. Successful programs have been implemented in partnership with Athletics, where diversion at hockey games averaged 80% of all waste going to recycling or compost, and the Anderson Academic Commons, where waste diversion is over 61%.


Recycling is collected by custodial staff from centralized receptacles in buildings across campus. Our all-together collection process provides single stream collection of metals, glass, paper, plastic, and Styrofoam. A complete list of what can be recycled can be found here. Food and liquid waste can contaminate loads of recyclables, so please rinse or empty containers (these don't need to be spotless, just free of most contaminants). Plastic bags are a major contaminant for recycling, as they clog sorting machines. Materials that are labeled compostable or PLA, cannot be recycled as well.


Compost is collected in many food service areas and several buildings across campus. This food and fiber organic matter is composted industrially at a site off campus, allowing the breakdown of this material in a controlled manner, producing a valuable soil resource. More information on this process and what can be composted can be found here. Compostable materials such as cups, plates and cutlery should be labeled compostable (not biodegradable), and usually are certified compostable by BPI. Napkins, paper towels, tissues, and greasy pizza boxes can all be composted. Plastic bags and glass are major contaminants for compost and should be kept out of these cans.

For more information, or to explore this programming for your building, email [email protected].