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Zero Waste

Zero Waste

SUNY New Paltz is moving towards Zero Waste.  Zero Waste is…

  1. Minimizing the total waste that the campus generates.
  2. Diverting more waste from the landfill through composting and recycling.
  3. Upcycling materials so they meet a higher, not lower need.

Since 2013, the Office of Campus Sustainability and its partners have:

  • Systematically tracked recycling, composting, and waste diversion rates since 2010.  If you’re interested in analyzing this data, please send Campus Sustainability Coordinator Lisa Mitten an email at
  • Implemented mixed recycling in the residence halls.  Paper, cardboard, glass, metal, and plastic all go in one recycling bin.
  • Established a procedure to compost 3D printing materials made of compostable PLA.
  • Strengthened the Move Out Day Reuse2Reduce program.
  • Trialed paper recycling and hanging waste baskets in the Service Building and the Sojourner Truth Library, significantly increasing the diversion rate of recyclable paper.
  • Labeled interior bins across campus with standard recycling and landfill graphics.
  • Significantly increased the amount of food waste composted.  From 2010 to 2013, approximately 115 tons of food waste annually.  In 2014 and 2015, Sodexo composted over 150 tons of food waste annually, an increase of over 23%.

With Facilities Management, the Office of Campus Sustainability is in the process of “rebalancing” exterior landfill and recycling bins across campus.  Soon, 33 new sets of landfill and recycling bins will be deployed across campus.