Working Groups

Resource Use

Goals & Progress

Sustainable waste management requires us to reduce the waste that we produce and divert as much waste from the landfill as possible

Discover how IU is working toward these goals on the Programs and Resources page.


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2020 goal image

The Office of Sustainability’s major Resource Use goal is to reduce campus solid waste by 40% by 2020. This goal is one of twenty goals composing the Office of Sustainability’s 2020 Vision.

Below are pie charts showing IU's waste diversion rate as of Spring 2016 and IU's goal diversion rate for 2020.

2016 and 2020 Diversion rate pie charts

A diversion rate is the percentage of waste that is recycled or reused as opposed to sent to the landfill.

Pie chart with IU Waste breakdown

Recent Progress

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  • 2015-2016
    • Greening Cream and Crimson made progress toward implementing "Zero Waste" game days.
    • IU wins "Most Improved" in the nationwide Recyclemania contest.
    • A reusable bag program is piloted at RPS dining courts
    • Coffee and tea discounts are implemented at RPS dining courts for students who bring their own cup
  • 2014-2015
    • No Bin Left Behind (NBLB) was implemented around campus- NBLB ensures that every trash can on campus is paired with a recycling bin.
    • Volunteers helped students at RPS food courts recycle as a part of new "Recycling Blitzes"
    • No Waste intern worked with Media student to create a graphic guide to recycling
  • 2012-2013
      • IUB participated in Recyclemania for its third year; the campus recycling rate was 26%, up from 22% in 2011
      • Waste audits indicated that the new indoor recycling containers were more effective than the previous infrastructure
      • Desk-side recycling containers caused nearly complete separation of recyclable material from trash
      • The Working Group helped author a Request For Proposal for a new waste hauling contract with the university
      • Labels were placed on all new indoor recycling containers
      • Composting operations were expanded at Hilltop Garden
      • Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale sold 35 tons of material
      • Greening Cream and Crimson provided recyling at home football games
      • IU Surplus Stores began extensively processing E-Waste
  • 2011-2012
      • Desk-side recycling containers were distributed to nearly every office on campus
      • Building Services began the installation of thousands of new public areas recycling containers in academic buildings
      • Several more paired, outdoor recycling and trash containers were installed around campus 
Previous Internships

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Since 2007, many students have completed internships related to resource use and recycling with the Office of Sustainability. Here you'll find a list with links to final reports or presentations.

  • 2012
    • Green Purchasing, Summer 2012; Oral Saulters
    • No Waste Program, Academic Year 2012-2013; Mark Milby 
  • 2011
    • No Waste Program, Academic Year 2011-2012; Meredith Dowling coordinated the new "No Waste Program" and collected important data on the campus waste stream
    • Campus Waste Audit Program, Academic Year 2011-2012; Mark Milby conducted several waste audits in academic buildings to test the efficacy of new public area recycling containers
  • 2010
    • No Waste Program, Academic Year 2010-2011; Meredith Dowling
  • 2009 
  • 2008 
    • Resource Use and Recycling Project, Summer 2008; Emmy Giovani investigated recycling best practices at peer institutions and made recommendations for IU
    • Campus Recycling Center Feasibility Study, Academic Year 2008-2009; Melissa Greulich investigated the feasibility of an on-campus recycling center
    • E-Waste Solutions, Academic Year 2008-2009; Laura Knudsen coordinated support for an e-waste pick-up day that diverted nearly 832,000 pounds of e-waste away from the landfill for recycling in the U.S.
    • Campus Waste Audit, Academic Year 2008-2009; Amy Countryman performed a series of waste audits in residence halls, finding that over 50% of the trash thrown away could have been recycled
  • 2007
    • Resource Use and Recycling Study, Summer 2007; Kate Rosenbarger compared IU's resource use with other universities and made recommendations regarding purchasing and recycling