How 10 Universities are Changing the Game in Managing Waste

The Sierra Club compiled an extensive ranking of America’s Greenest Universities, and Waste was one of the 11 key metrics the San Francisco-based organization used.

Higher education has been a popular area for examination and focus on improving waste management and other environmental factors. The, a website about higher education, ranked the greenest schools earlier this year, from a broad environmental perspective. And the annual Recyclemania contest for schools pits universities and colleges across America in a battle for top recycling achievement.

The best schools in the waste category varied widely with the final overall rankings. Clearly, some schools are better in some environmental categories and worse in others.

In this study, the Sierra Club assigned a total of 105 possible points for universities and colleges to make the grade on waste operations.

Waste reduction accounted for 25 points. Institutions had to reduce waste by 7 percent or more per year compared with an historical baseline.

General waste diversion comprised 20 points. Institutions could earn half of available points by calculating the general diversion. The rest could come based on the percentage.

Waste diversion from new construction and demolition (C&D) totaled 20 points. Half could come from calculating diversion during new C&D. The other half was available based on the percentage of diversion achieved.

The electronic waste recycling category represents 20 points. Half relate to having a program to refurbish, reuse, or recycle electronic waste generated by the school. The other half come from having a similar program for electronic waste generated by students.

The last category is move-in/move-out waste reduction. All points come from having such a program.

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