Promoting excellence in waste management, recycling/composting service, environmental/sustainability education and operational sustainability strategies to the university community while attaining reduction, reuse and recycling goals.
To provide excellence in waste reduction, recycling, composting service and other sustainable campus practices, to the campus community while providing students with direct experience in environmental management through paid positions, academic internships and volunteer opportunities. The UO Zero Waste Program strives to model excellence in environmental stewardship and to stimulate campus and community sustainable practices.
Who We Are/What We Do
The UO Zero Waste Program provides services, administration and education on campus waste management and sustainable operations as follows:
1. Provide student employment and leadership opportunities in a service and educational campus environmental program. Student employees receive extensive orientation and program training. Program provides academic and volunteer opportunities to compliment academic pursuits. Employees and interns are eligible for attendance at workshops/conferences and recycling plant tours.
2. Serve the campus community by creating opportunities for recycling through providing collection services at over 1500 campus collection sites, while meeting University and state goals on waste management and sustainability.
3. Reduce the campus waste stream through identifying, researching and establishing market opportunities for materials generated on campus.
4. Track the University waste stream through daily tally collection sheets and an annual campus waste stream analysis.
5. Develop waste reduction and re-use opportunities/strategies for the campus community such as: reusable office supply exchange, surplus furniture, packaging reduction, vendor contracts and construction/demolition waste management.
6. Work with campus administrators and departments to support sustainable practices through encouraging environmentally preferable purchasing, contract support of waste reduction and other projects) such as assistance in development of Campus Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development Guidelines).
7. Educate faculty, staff and students on recycling/composting standards and actions to conserve resources and participate in existing sustainability programs on campus and in the community.
8. Represent the University of Oregon on the College and University Recycling Coalition, Recyclemania National Steering Committee, AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) and other professional/university/governmental environmental/sustainability organizations and associations.
9. Outreach to other universities on campus recycling, waste management, sustainability and other environmental practices including: involvement in national college recycling organization, other professional organizations and through an extensive world class web site (over 500 pages, an extensive resource that has been touted as one of the best college recycling/sustainability resources in the country).
10. Work towards modeling zero waste events where food ware is composted along with food waste and recycling at all events. These include: ASUO Street Fair, Willamette Valley Music Fest, HOPES conference, Sustainable Advantage, E-LAW Conference and other on-campus events, conferences and festivals.
11. Provide and develop composting services and education to campus and events including public and vendor composting.
12. Identify long term goals including: composting in all campus buildings and paper towel collection, campus departmental sustainable office audits, implementation of water fountain refill spouts in all campus buildings.