WashU campuses, through individual use and operations, generate close to 20 million pounds of waste every year. The university is committed to reducing and diverting waste through infrastructure improvement and education.

Reducing, reusing and recycling waste is an essential component of an institutional sustainability effort. It is often one of the first ways that new students or guests see the university’s commitments manifested in action. Recycling programs rely on an informed community to participate in waste avoidance and properly managing personal waste, whether they are in one of our dining spaces, an office setting, classroom or residential living space.

WashU offers university-wide single stream recycling (where all recyclable materials are commingled in one bin), and compost collection in many dining spaces across campus. Other strategic initiatives include a campus-wide ban on the sale of bottled water, a reusable to-go box option in select dining areas, straws available upon request, and a surplus re-circulation program for office furniture, supplies, and lab equipment.

Waste Sorting Guide

An illustrated guide and FAQ on how to properly dispose of different items found across campus. There is even a video to walk you through it!

Single-stream Recycling

WashU offers university-wide single stream recycling (where all recyclable materials are commingled in one bin), that is easy and convenient to use.

Hard-to-Recycle Materials

Hazardous materials can wreak havoc on the natural environment and therefore must follow specific disposal procedures.

Sharing Economy

Sharing goods and resources allow for materials to be more fully utilized, preventing waste associated with production and disposal. 

Composting Resources

Composting allows for food scraps and other items to be transformed into fertilizer. Resources available for both on- and off-campus composting.

Two students carry a box of donations at the Share Our Stuff event.

Reuse and Donation Programs

Connect with others who are in need of new items or looking to give away their items, all while avoiding unnecessary purchases.

Less Is More

“Less Is More” encourages every member of the WashU community to take personal steps to lower the university’s emissions, preserve natural resources, improve air quality and public health, and protect the environment for ourselves and future generations. 

Printable Signage

To display signage with the most current recycling information at your office or living space, download, print and post one from our collection.