Article: Zero Waste is the Goal on UNC Campus

Some campuses have developed model programs that seek to reduce the size of the environmental footprint. The green or sustainable campus web resources described below are divided into two categories – sites that address campus sustainability on a general [below] basis and those that incorporate campus recycling and waste reduction [below] programs within a larger campus sustainability framework.

General Resources [top]

These are sites that provide an introduction to campus sustainability issues, including case studies or examples, a discussion of how the site sponsors are involved in promoting campus sustainability and references to other information resources on this subject. These sites may have some information on campus-based recycling or waste reduction programs.

National Wildlife Federation – Campus Ecology Program (CEP)

WHAT’S HOT: Practical resources for green campuses and student environmental leaders
The CEP was started in 1989 for the purpose of helping higher education institutions to operate on a more environmentally sustainable basis and, in the process, to train students to become environmental leaders within their communities. The CEP web site describes the various programs that students can participate in by joining the CEP. There are, in addition, a number of online resources including short profiles of greening projects involving composting, recycling or waste reduction; the CEP newsletter and the Campus Ecology Research Station, which is a how-to guide to developing a successful campus green project.

Second Nature

WHAT’S HOT: The searchable Resource Center has it all.
The overall goal of Second Nature is to enable colleges and universities to teach and practice environmental sustainability. The core informational asset of the Second Nature website is the Resource Center where users can identify specific contacts, bibliographies, teaching materials, institutional profiles or documents based on the selection of search filters such as subject topics. The Bibliographic section does have a topic listing that addresses waste management. In all other sections of the Resource Center, listings that relate to recycling or waste reduction can be found principally through browsing. The balance of the Second Nature website is devoted to a discussion of the organization and its various programs such as workshops.

Sustainable Development on Campus Toolkit

WHAT’S HOT: Find real world policies
The objective of this website by the International Institute of Sustainable Development (a Canadian organization) is to help students or staff to understand what sustainable development is and how it relates to higher education institutions. Users looking for specific references to recycling and waste reduction should consult the casebook section of the Learn Here section as well as the Policy Bank. The latter allows content filtering with respect to a various criteria such as type of policy, country and institution. The Declarations section is interesting to those users who may want to review the various policy statements that have issued by higher education leaders such as the Talloires Declaration.

Recycling Emphasis [top]

These sites offer discussion of campus recycling and waste reduction as one strategy of a larger plan for creating a sustainable campus. In many cases, the campus recycling programs provided the foundation for the broader campus sustainability program that sought to address other issues such as energy conservation and green building design.

Blueprint for a Green Campus (BGC)

WHAT’S HOT: Recommendations are a few years old but still solid.
BGC is a document that is based on the results of the Earth Summit Campus that was held February 1994 at Yale University involving 450 delegates from all 50 States as well as 22 countries. It sets forth a number of recommendations to be followed for creating a green campus environment. Chapter 6 of the BGC recommendations addresses waste reduction actions that can be taken by campus officials, staff, faculty and students.

Brown Is Green (BIG)

WHAT’S HOT: Driving sustainability through waste reduction and accessible recycling
The BIG program was established in 1990 as cooperative effort by campus administration, faculty and students to reduce the environmental impact of the university’s ongoing operations. One section of the BIG website is devoted to a description of Brown University’s recycling program including recovery data for specific materials including food and yard wastes. One interesting part of this section is a discussion of the process that was followed for developing outdoor campus recycling collection containers.

University of Waterloo – Waste Management

WHAT’S HOT: Universities buying green, eh!
This website is really a central hub for information on the various environmental initiatives being undertaken by the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) though there is a strong focus on recycling and waste reduction practices or research that have been undertaken. The best starting point is the link to the Reduction and Recycling section. Here users will find a detailed overview of the university’s recycling and waste reduction practices including its history and program statistics. Another useful link is to the site’s discussion of the university’s green procurement practices along to links to other procurement resources. Finally, follow the Solid Waste Management link to a listing of online student reports, many of them reporting the results of waste audits, going back to 1991.

Connecticut College is Green (CCG)

The CCG website describes the various environmental actions that are being taken by Connecticut College. This includes a detailed overview of the campus recycling program, which recovers a variety of fiber and non-fiber materials including food and wood wastes. One of the annual educational activities conducted by the campus recycling program since 1994 is a sort of selected waste sources to identify recyclable materials that are still being disposed.

MPIRG – The Green Campus

This website describes the green campus campaign that is sponsored by the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group and invites interested students to join this program. There is also a link to information on how to join MPIRG’s green campus discussion list.

UB Green

UB Green website is the starting point for information on various ongoing environmental programs at the State University of NY at Buffalo. This includes a section on the campus recycling program that covers its history, current operations, university policies and procurement actions. It should be noted that computer disks and CD’s are recovered through this program. There are also some student reports relating to campus recycling issues that are worth reviewing as well.

University of British Columbia Campus Sustainability Office (UBC-CSO)

The goal of the UBC – CSO is to demonstrate how sustainable community institutions can be successfully implemented. There is a wealth of information on various ongoing recycling and waste reduction programs at UBC. Select the link to WasteFree UBC to go the university’s recycling program website. Here users can download detailed annual program reports for the past several years as well as read about UBC’s composting initiatives to encourage small scale (vermicomposting) and intermediate scale (back yard) composting and to develop a large scale composting facility. Another notable feature of this website are the real time meters showing sheets of copy paper used and trees saved by using recycled content paper since January 1, 2000 on the CSO home page and on the page discussing the university’s paper reduction program. The latter page also describes the various strategies being used to reduce paper product usage and to recycle those paper products that still need to be used within university operations.

University of Wisconsin – Madison Campus Ecology (UWMCE)

WHAT’S HOT: Measuring campus environmental success
The purpose of this website is to provide information on all campus ecology initiatives by the UWM including its long-standing recycling program. The UWMCE’s recycling program profile, one of the most extensive and well-organized of its kind to be found on the Web, is based on a campus ecology benchmarking methodology proposed in a article entitled “Comparing Campus Recycling Programs: Apples to Apples or Whales to Lawnmowers?” by Daniel Einstein (which is also part of the UWMCE site and well worth reading). This profile covers the program’s institutional environment, operations, administration and organizational behavior (such as education and promotional activities). There are also detailed online program statistics on the quantities recovered and revenues earned for fiber and non-fiber materials.

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