Richmond Home

Rethink Waste

University of Richmond has set an ambitious goal of 80% waste diversion by 2020. This means that by 2020, we are striving to have 80% of our waste to be recycled, composted, or donated for reuse instead of going to the landfill.

In order to achieve this goal, we need the help and participation of all faculty, staff, and students on campus. We would like to challenge you to Rethink Waste.

Though we talk about throwing things "away", all of the materials that make their way into the waste bin end up somewhere else. There is no away. Far too often, our waste goes to the landfill. Although landfills help us keep our cities clean, there are better solutions. Landfills are anaerobic environments, which makes it very difficult for waste to decompose. Contamination can also occur if leachate - the water that has percolated through landfill waste - leaks into groundwater or nearby habitats. Diverting recyclable and compostable items from the landfill to be made into valuable goods is a better option.

This campaign is all about rethinking our relationship with waste. When you dispose of an item, place it into the right receptacle to be recycled or composted, so those materials can be responsibly reused. If you think someone else may find value in an item you no longer want or need, donate it to be used again. Better yet, consider where an object or its packaging will end up once you are done with it before you purchase it. Factor that into your thinking when deciding what (and if) to buy.

Please contact sustainability@richmond.edu with any questions.

Read through guidelines for recycling and composting below, and check out our tips for how you can reduce waste and be a green spider.

What can I recycle?

-Plastics 1-7

-Clean cardboard

-Mixed paper

-Glass

-Aluminum

-Tin and aluminum cans

Items should be emptied of food or liquid before being recycled. Please pour excess liquids into a compost or landfill bin before placing items into a recycling receptacle. Soft plastic (like plastic wrap), straws, plastic utensils, and plastic-lined paper cups (ex: a paper cup from Starbucks) cannot be recycled.

What can be composted?

Heilman Dining Center currently composts pre-consumer food waste.

What can I do with e-waste, like computers and batteries?

Batteries and electronics often contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment, so it's not a good idea to put these in a landfill bin. The University hosts an annual e-waste disposal event where you can bring batteries, electronics, hard drives, and more. This year it will be held on March 15.

Batteries can be recycled in the bin in Boatwright Library outside 815.

What can I donate?

-Donate office supplies through the UROSE Office Supply Exchange in Puryear 101A.

-Donate clothing, school supplies, small electronics, and more through Donation Stations in every residence hall's lounge or laundry room.

-Drop off items at Goodwill bins at Marsh Hall, North Court, or Lora Robins.

-Contact Facilities to donate office furniture.

-Donate items from your residence hall or apartment to the Big Yard Sale each May.

How can I reduce waste every day?

-Take a reusable bag with you for shopping

-Carry a reusable water bottle or coffee cup

-Skip the tray in the dining hall to reduce food waste

-Avoid printing when possible

How can students get more involved?

-Become a Sustainability Advocate

-Take a sustainability related course

-Intern with the Office for Sustainability

-Join a student organization

-Attend or volunteer at Office for Sustainability events

How can faculty get more involved?

-Participate in a River City Project workshop

-Join a Faculty Learning Community

-Attend or volunteer at Office for Sustainability events

How can staff get more involved?

-Become a Green Office

-Join the Sustainability Staff Discussion Group

-Attend or volunteer at Office for Sustainability events