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Survey Results on Impacts to Higher Ed Recycling & Waste Reduction

February 16, 2021

Campus Recyclers See Challenges & Opportunities from COVID-19

A partnership of organizations have published the preliminary results of survey into the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education waste reduction efforts. Recycling and sustainability managers from over 130 schools across the US and Canada have participated in the 15-question survey covering topics such as indoor collection programs, budget impacts and reusable to-go food container programs. Among the results, COVID is causing:

  • Many schools to convert deskside waste to self-service collections. Roughly 20% have or are actively considering the shift.
  • 30% of schools to temporarily suspend reusable to-go food container programs, even as 8% are working to introduce or expand such programs.
  • 29% of schools to cut recycling staff positions.

Click to view highlights of the preliminary results

Click to read blog with key analysis of key takeaways

These preliminary results are a follow up to a separate earlier survey conducted in August about impacts to fall term reopening plans. This second survey is being conducted by a partnership of College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC) and the US Composting Council (USCC), Busch Systems Consulting, Zero Waste Campus Council and NRC Campus Council.

Full Results Available to Survey Participants

Results for the entire survey including details about current waste reduction priorities and impacts to procurement policies, along with respondent’s detailed comments are available exclusively to schools that complete the survey.

Partial List of Participating Schools
(Excludes schools that requested their names be omitted)

Appalachian State University

Boone

 

NC

Arizona State University

 

Tempe

 

AZ

Auburn University

 

Auburn

 

AL

Brandeis University

 

Waltham

 

MA

Camosun College

 

Victoria

 

BC

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh

PA

Clark University

 

Worcester

MA

Clemson University

 

Clemson

 

SC

Colorado State University

 

Fort Collins

CO

Dawson College

 

Glendive

 

MT

Drexel University

 

Philadelphia

PA

East Tennessee State University

Johnson City

TN

Frostburg State University

 

Frostburg

 

MD

Haverford College

 

Haverford

PA

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Geneva

 

NY

Indiana University, Bloomington

Bloomington

IN

Iowa State University

 

Ames

 

IA

Ivy Tech Community College - Evansville Service Area

Evansville

IN

Johns Hopkins University

 

Baltimore

MD

Johnson County Community College

Overland Park

KS

Kansas State University

 

Manhattan

KS

Kent State University

 

Kent

 

OH

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles

CA

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Buzzards Bay

MA

Michigan State University

 

East Lansing

MI

Montana State University

 

Bozeman

 

MT

Muskegon Community College

Muskegon

MI

North Carolina State University

Raleigh

 

NC

Northland College

 

Ashland

 

WI

Oakton Community College

Des Plaines

IL

Ohio State

   

Columbus

OH

Oregon State University

 

Corvallis

 

OR

Portland Community College

Portland

 

OR

Portland State University

 

Portland

 

OR

Princeton University

 

Princeton

NJ

Salisbury University

 

Salisbury

 

MD

San Jose State University

 

San Jose

 

CA

Southern Connecticut State University

New Haven

CT

Spelman College

 

Atlanta

 

GA

Surry Community College

 

Dobson

 

NC

Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi

TX

Texas Tech University

 

Lubbock

 

TX

The University of Texas at Austin

Austin

 

TX

University of British Columbia

Vancouver

BC

University of California, Los Angeles

Los Angeles

CA

University of California, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

CA

University of Georgia

 

Athens

 

GA

University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago

 

IL

University of Kentucky

 

Lexington

KY

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Baltimore

MD

University of Minnesota Duluth

Duluth

 

MN

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Las Vegas

 

NV

University of Ottawa

 

Ottawa

 

ON

University of Richmond

 

Richmond

VA

University of Southern Maine

Portland

 

ME

University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg

MS

University of Virginia

 

Charlottesville

VA

University of Wisconsin-River Falls

River Falls

WI

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Stevens Point

WI

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Whitewater

WI

University of Wyoming

 

Laramie

 

WY

Wells College

 

Aurora

 

NY

West Chester University

 

West Chester

PA

Western Colorado University

Gunnison

 

CO

Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo

MI

Western Technical College

La Crosse

 

WI

Western Washington University

Bellingham

WA

Disclaimer: Guest blogs represent the opinion of the writers and may not reflect the policy or position of the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.

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