Waste Reduction Strategies
- To reduce unwanted mail, request a unique zip code that doesn't
accept personal advertising.
- Send general mailings only to department heads or key department
representatives for central posting.
- Target specific audiences for direct mail.
- Use washable plates, eating utensils, glasses and cups for
cafeteria/restaurants and in-room service, whenever possible.
- Sell reusable mugs with no-spill lids and offer discounts to
anyone using their own mug.
- Start up a "think before you use" campaign to decrease use of
disposable items: napkins, condiments, etc.
- Remove napkins from the service line and add napkin dispensers
in the dining area to be used as needed.
- Donate unserved, surplus food to a food bank program or homeless
- For all-you-can-eat service, reduce the plate size.
- Switch to a bulk milk dispenser instead of individual milk
- Buy products in bulk and keep in stay fresh containers on
display instead of selling individually wrapped products. (e.g.,
breakfast muffins, cereal, etc.).
- Adopt a policy for contracted vendors that addresses waste
reduction, recycled products and recycling.
- Place rubber mats around bus and dish washing stations to reduce
china and glass breakage.
- Purchase products that come in recyclable packaging such as tin,
aluminum and glass.
- Offer canvas bags to customers for a small fee or for free.
Charging local businesses or vendors to advertise their logo on the
bags will offset the cost of procuring the bags while reducing the
amount of single-use bags that need to be purchased.
- Charge customers for single-use bags.
Plant drought resistant and lower maintenance shrubs and trees. They
require less water and will generate smaller quantities of yard
Shipping and Receiving
- Arrange for vendors to take back pallets.
- Reuse pallets for shipments within the campus.
- Sell or donate used pallets to groups or organizations for
- Post campus job listings on a network accessible to students
instead of a bulletin board. This will reduce the amount of paper,
printing and recycling used when hard copies are updated.
- Consider switching to energy-efficient fluorescents (contact
your local utility for possible discounts) and switching from
single-paned to thermal-paned windows.
- See Food Service for more restaurant related information.
- Donate books that are in good condition to a non-profit
- Also see General Tips for more Office Waste
Reduction Tips and Green Teachers
- In student dorms, create centrally located recycling depots for
each building or floor. Clearly label all recycling bins and post
- Provide in-room recycling containers for newspapers and beverage
containers, along with information on how to recycle. Work with
students to empty in-room containers into a central recycling
- Make recycling a part of the housing contract and have the
recycling bin included in the dorm inventory.
- Anticipate and prepare for a large volume of recyclables during
move-in/move-out days and other special events.
- Place recycling bins in high-traffic areas where they are
convenient to use.
- Make recycling bins as accessible as garbage cans.
- Buy recycled.
Set up recycling containers at the dish disposal/tray collection
area so that materials are sorted for recycling rather than thrown
- Contact your waste hauler or city recycling coordinator about
collection service for kitchen and food waste that can be composted.
- Consider building a worm bin and designate classes to take turns
caring for the bin by using a portion of the food scraps each day to
feed the worms. This is a great learning exercise for students while
simultaneously reducing solid waste. Go to the Master Composter's
web site, and select "Worm" for more information.
- For outdoor maintenance tips see Waste
Reduction Tips for Landscaping.
For more information visit these web sites:
- Composting Council of Canada
- Composting News
- Internet Recycling and Composting Resource Page
- Recyclers World central composting category
- US EPA composting