ASU Adopts Zero Waste Program

Many college campuses across America are integrating recycling and trash initiatives to better build sustainability. Arizona State University (ASU) has developed a systematic approach for recycling materials that may have different routes as repurposed products.  


ASU has started the program: Zero Waste. “The program refers to this as diversion: recycling, composting, reuse and repurposing, and aversion: the reduction in overall consumption and procurement of materials,” stated from article “Where does my trash go?” The goal with Zero Waste is to specifically reduce contribution to landfills creating a sustainable environment at ASU.


The process on paper seems quite simple but there are multiple steps to the final product:

Image: Kelsey Gaude, ASU


Many different types of recyclables and trash that have to be categorized in order to successfully be recycled is apart of the The Co-Mingled Recycling Program, which helps with the organization of the recyclable material. From paper products to electronics, each product may have to be recycled differently.


Styrofoam, or Extruded Polystyrene Foam (EPS), for example, cannot be regularly recycled — it has to be handled differently.


Materials such as coffee cups, takeout containers and other service ware are not able to be recycled because of the more energy it takes to recycle and repurpose, according to the City of Tempe Recycling coordinator.


The city of Tempe Arizona does not collect EPS or packaging foam for recycling.


ASU has been taking the right steps to sustainability on the campus making sustainability accessible for everyone.


Learn more on the Zero Waste program, click here!