What is Zero Waste?
Zero waste is an approach to waste management that emphasizes a cradle-to-cradle theory, where a material or product is recycled into a new product at the end of its life. It strives for reduced material use, increased use of benign materials, creation of longer product lives and reparability and increased ease of disassembly at end of life.
During fall and spring move-out every year, we hold a reusable goods drive called Give-and-Go. Students donate everything from clothing and bedding to electronics and sporting goods. Last year we diverted over 28 tons of perfectly good items to local charities instead of it ending up in a landfill.
We collect all of our pre- and post-consumer food waste in the dining centers, which is then sent to and processed by A1 Organics in Eaton, Colorado. They produce compost and mulch, available to local companies and citizens for landscaping.
We conduct product purchasing using the triple bottom line, which incorporates taking the social, environmental and financial impacts into consideration when making purchases. This can include things like how the product was sourced, how far it has to travel to reach us and the amount and type of packaging it comes in.
We recycle paper, aluminum, glass, cardboard, plastic wrap, wooden delivery pallets, light bulbs, batteries and used cooking oil (for biodiesel). We also make if very easy for students to participate by providing bins almost everywhere and by providing recycling ambassadors at move-in to start educating students right away.
Compostable Product Purchasing
A selection of compostable dishware is available for staff to purchase directly through Campus Dining Services. This helps keep prices low and makes it easy to hold zero-waste events on campus without a lot of hassle! Visit the compostable product page for items, prices and order form.