Sustainability Practice and Education on University Campuses and Beyond

A Comprehensive Overview of University and College Recycling Programs

Author(s): Brooke E. Mason

Pp: 29-49 (21)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681084718117010005

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Recycling was one of the first steps many colleges and universities took to make their campuses greener. Schools began to realize the benefits of recycling including reduced costs for landfilling, saving raw materials, pollution prevention, and many others. Not all campus recycling programs operate under the same parameters and can differ significantly depending on the labor structure and collection system used. Despite the system a campus selects, additional factors must be considered to develop a successful program including campus support and education, program branding, bin selection and placement, operational efficiencies, as well as planning and tracking. Today, many school recycling programs go beyond providing only basic recycling services. Programs have branched out to also focus on additional initiatives including recycling competitions, event recycling, composting programs, electronics recycling programs, reuse programs, and student education and behavior changing initiatives. The latest trends to push their campuses towards a sustainable future include broader zero waste goals, removing trash cans from offices and classrooms, plastic bag and bottle bans, and paperless campuses.

Keywords: Branding, Campus support, Competition, Compost, Educated Population, Electronics, Financial support, Marketing, Recycling programs, Reuse, Single-stream recycling, Surplus, Sustainability, Waste audit.

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