waste not.

Waste Not

EPA estimates that 75% of the waste stream is reusable, yet we recycle about 30% of it. Diverting waste from landfills and incinerators benefits not only the climate, but the bottom line. Looking closely at what we buy, use, throw away, and send our waste, allows for dramatic carbon savings. Rethinking, reusing, recycling, composting. It all makes a difference. UB will achieve net zero waste across all material streams by 2030.



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 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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