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.
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.
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.