American’s generate 4 lbs. of waste per day, twice as much as some other developed countries. Where does it all go? How can we change our habits? These are the questions that keep our office up at night. 

Creating a culture that is less wasteful may seem challenging, but it is achievable. Ursinus went from not having a recycling program in 2001 to now recycling across all areas of campus, and composting over 7 tons of food waste a year. Additionally, we organize a Move-Out collection program to divert reusable items from the landfill, a Move-In program collecting cardboard from first year move-in day, and we recycle all campus related electronics though facilities. Currently, all of our campus municipal solid waste (MSW) is handled by Sustainable Waste Solutions- A Landfill Free company. 


Ursinus College has a single stream recycling system on campus.  This means that plastics # 1-7, paper, cardboard, glass and metal cans can all go into the same recycling bins. We are committed to recycling as much of our waste stream as we can, check our recycling page for more information on what you can recycle at Ursinus.  Or download a list of items we recycle here.  And you can always contact us with more specific questions. 


The waste leftover after recycling and composting is taken to the local energy from waste power plant where it is incinerated and used to create electricity for the local power grid. To learn more about energy from waste power plants and best practices for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), see the source reduction chart below, and visit the EPA website.  

Source: EPA http://www.epa.gov/solidwaste/nonhaz/municipal/hierarchy.htmSource: EPA http://www.epa.gov/solidwaste/nonhaz/municipal/hierarchy.htm


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Have a question about what items are recyclable or compostable? Click here for a full reference sheet on regular items you may find on campus.

Learn more about the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge