Mission - Vision - Strategies
We manage University of Minnesota waste in a cost effective, efficient and environmentally sound manner. We prefer and prioritize methods to reduce, reuse and recycle over disposal of wastes. We act in accordance with the Minnesota Waste Management Hierarchy and the Board of Regents Sustainability and Energy Efficiency Policy, because we believe that the resources we use are valuable. We do this while providing excellent customer service to the University community.
A University of Minnesota campus that has achieved zero waste: all materials are reused, recycled or composted.
Expand organics recycling. Currently, 40 percent (1000 tons) of organic materials comes from dining halls and animal bedding from research facilities. Collecting the other 60 percent will require expansion into offices, restrooms, classrooms, and laboratories from all campus buildings. We are also targeting the conversion of single-use disposables to compostable materials.
Implement central collection methods. Having building occupants bring both their trash and recyclables to centrally located containers greatly increases recovery of both recyclables by 90%. The custodial staff collects the recyclables and trash from the Quad containers.
Update and improve recycling infrastructure campus-wide. Placing pairs of recycling and trash containers in convenient locations within buildings is crucial to encourage people to recycle as a part of their daily routine. By continuously improving this infrastructure, recycling becomes more accessible and efficient for everyone on campus.
Promote and educate the University about diverting waste. Being visible and proactive in the University community through organizing zero-waste events, posters and signage, educational presentations, etc. allows us to connect with students, faculty, and visitors. This increases recycling awareness and gives us a better grasp of the issues that prevent people from recycling.