waste not.

Waste Not

We can reuse 75% of the waste stream but only recycle 30%. Diverting waste from landfills and incinerators helps the environment and finances. We need to examine our purchasing habits, usage, waste disposal and transportation to reduce carbon. Reconsider, reuse, recycle and compost to achieve net zero waste by 2030.

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  • Phase I (2020): Establish a working group to determine viable options and pathways to strive for zero waste across university systems by 2030 that will examine our campus purchases and practices, identify the scope of our waste, and create standards of waste reduction infrastructure on campus
  • Phase II (2020-2021): Assess the scope of hazardous materials and identify safer and more sustainable substitutions, create contracts and make purchases which take extended producer responsibility into account, develop a robust system to promote the repair, reuse and donation of materials and goods, ensure any remaining materials and goods are recycled, and improve access to zero waste education
  • Phase III (2022): Divert all organics from waste, eliminate all single use plastics


UB will leverage the recently enacted New York Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law, the plastic bag ban, Styrofoam ban and other legislative proposals. In addition, our university will leverage its larger "Building the Circular Economy Through Zero Waste" strategy to propose progressive new campus policies that leverage UB's procurement practices, operations and administrative infrastructure to diminish the amount of waste generated on campus.

UB's 9 Point Zero Waste Strategic Plan

  1. Re-think Campus Purchases and Practices: Develop an understanding of the materials required to keep UB operating and identify institutional opportunities which have far reaching impacts.
  2. Identify and Measure the Scope of our Waste: Define the materials we purchase, and use, and those which are brought from outside the University and disposed of on campus by members of the community.
  3. Create Campus Standards for Zero Waste: Clear, informative material is imperative to ensuring participation and service goals are met.
  4. Redistribute Usable Goods On and Off Campus: Ensure all usable property is redistributed for use either on or off campus.
  5. Improve Zero Waste Education: Clear and consistent communication regarding expectations is critical.
  6. Divert All Organics from Waste: Organic materials are a critical resource to maintain within a circular system.
  7. Eliminate Prepared Foods Waste: Edible food will be provided to those in our community experiencing hunger (and if not fit for consumption than to animals).
  8. Eliminate Single Use Plastic Use: Identifying compostable and durable alternatives is not only possible and consistent with our zero waste goals but is also occurring at most peer institutions.
  9. Finance: Develop a business and funding plan for the initiatives.


Fall 2022- Spring 2023

In the 2022-2023 school year the university hired a consultant, RSS, to draft a strategy to achieve zero waste on campus. This consultant is tasked with looking at how our waste is collected, assessing how successful our community is at recycling, and designing improvements that will streamline our waste management processes.

The Food Recovery Network had an active year. With the help of Campus Dining and Shops, the student-lead initiative continued to collect food from C3, Starbucks and added Governor’s Dining Hall to their list of recovery sites. Compost collection also began in One World Café and shows a glimpse of what future efforts for post-consumer compost collection will look like at our university. 

 The university also hosted events for both the internal UB community and the broader local community that collected and recycled paint, electronics and clothing. The HIRED professional clothing boutique partnered with local banks and businesses to collect professional clothing items that students can obtain for free by appointment. UBReUSE also conducted its 6th move out collection and sale, diverting potential waste from landfills.

Lastly, the university is working with the Center of EcoTechnology to divert food to community partners. 

Fall 2020- Spring 2021

  • Removed and recycled over 12 and ½ tons of electronics from South Campus buildings to ensure space is efficiently utilized.
  • Developing revised contracts for university recycling service and sustainable flooring options.
  • Participated in educational campaign promoting Campus Race to Zero Waste in April to engage UB community in zero waste activities on campus and at home.
  • Created a model for a professional clothing distribution center on campus to support students.  HIRED will collect professional clothing and accessories from the greater UB community.  The items will be available to students at no charge, ensuring they are ready for their interview, job fair or internship.  HIRED will also be a safe place for LGBTQ students to obtain professional clothing.     


  • Captain: Tricia Kandler, director of Facilities and Building Procurement.
  • Jeffrey Angiel, Director of Facilities Operations, University Facilities.
  • John Atkinson, Associate Professor, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering.
  • Nicole Dell, Assistant Dining Director, Campus Dining and Shops.
  • Sara Goodman, Incubation Program Manager, Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships.
  • Elizabeth Hladczuk, Student Union Associate, Student Unions.
  • Domenic Licata, Instructional Support Technician, Visual Studies.
  • Karen Peissinger, Environmental Health Officer, EH&S.
  • Michael Walker, Custodial Supervisor, Campus Operations.

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