Zero Waste Workplace

Zero Waste Workplace

NC State University is striving for a 70% waste diversion by 2022. To achieve this goal, it has implemented key diversion programs that focus on source reduction, increased recycling, and expanded composting opportunities. Zero Waste Workplace is one such program.

A joint effort between Waste Reduction & Recycling and University Housekeeping, Zero Waste Workplace has been recognized both locally and throughout the Carolinas for its ability to help students, staff, faculty, and departments work towards zero waste on campus.

The primary components of a Zero Waste Workplace include bin optimization, composting, specialized waste collections, and education.

bins for compost, recycling, and landfill waste collections that have color-coded lids and signs to let users know how to sort their waste appropriately

I. Bin Optimization

By updating and streamlining deskside bins and convenience sites to University bin standards, work space can reduce their waste-to-landfill through improved sorting and increased self-service recycling. Bin optimization also includes the use of educational backerboards & signage that provide users with images of accepted items and the miniBIN, a lightweight and portable clip-on landfill container that replaces a traditional deskside bin.

  • Assistant Vice Chancellor for Facilities
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  • Assistant Vice Chancellor for Facilities
  • Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities
  • Capital Project Management
  • College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Design & Construction Services
  • EH&S Center
  • Facilities Human Resources
  • Housekeeping Services
  • Office of Contracts & Grants
  • Office of Research & Innovation
  • Office of the University Architect
  • Communication Technologies
  • Building Services
  • Busines Services
  • Campus Mail Services
  • Grounds Maintenance
  • Motor Pool Services
  • Waste Reduction & Recycling
  • Schaub Food Science
  • Sustainability
  • JC Raulston Arboretum
  • Horticulture Science
  • Case Dining Hall
  • Clark Dining Hall
  • Fountain Dining Hall
  • Budget & Resources Management
  • Budget Office
  • Campus Enterprises
  • HR Administration
  • HR Transportation
  • Human Resources- Staff Senate
  • Office of Cost Analysis
  • Purchasing Department
  • University Controller
  • University Controller
  • Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
  • Building Maintenance & Operations
  • Poole College of Management- Supply Chain Resource Cooperative
  • African American Cultural Center
  • Passport Services
  • Registration & Records
  • Student Development Health & Wellness
  • Student Media
  • Academic Student Affairs
  • Campus Life
  • Fraternity & Sorority Life
  • GLBT Center
  • Leadership & Civic Engagement
  • NC State Bookstores
  • NC State Live
  • Student Involvement
  • Ticket Central
  • University Theatre
  • Women’s Center
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Paper Science and Engineering
  • Environmental Technology and Management
  • Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
  • Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology
  • Forest Management
  • Sport Management
  • Natural Resources
  • Sustainable Materials Technology
  • Biomedical Engineering (UNC/NC State)
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Forest Biomaterials
  • Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science
special waste examples include shredded paper, pallets, electronics recycling, compostable items from events in a clearstream, and plastic syringe cases

III. Specialized Waste Collections

The variety of research and academic programming available on campus means that buildings on campus generate very different types of waste. The Zero Waste Workplace program collaborates with building faculty and staff to identify and divert materials that typically cannot be managed through standard recycling/composting collections.

IV. Education

A successful Zero Waste Workplace program requires continued education and collaboration between many individuals. WRR provides ongoing assistance to groups and individuals through presentations and trainings regarding recycling, composting, and the zero waste workplace on campus.

Zero Waste Workplaces on campus include Administrative Services Buildings I, II, & III, Sullivan Shops I, II, & III, JC Raulston Arboretum, Talley Student Union, Witherspoon Student Center, Schaub Food Science, Fitts-Woolard Hall, and the College of Natural Resources.

Zero Waste FAQs

Contact Us and we will schedule a meeting to discuss feasibility and implementation.

Contact Us and we will discuss feasibility! Composting requires access to external compost dumpsters and/or carts. University Housekeeping may also have to be contacted for services, depending on the type and level of composting you want to implement.

Contact Us and we will schedule a site evaluation. Based on the size and type (appropriated vs. receipts) of your building, WRR will provide you with estimated cost lists (if any) and timeline.

It depends! Individuals are responsible for emptying their deskside recycling containers and miniBINs in appropriated office buildings. Self-service sorting by individuals increases recycling rates and provides individuals with an opportunity to fully appreciate how their personal choices affect the landfill, recycling, and composting efforts for the campus and the global community. Some receipts-operated departments still have Housekeeping empty their deskside bins.

Housekeeping will regularly empty the convenience sites as well as the additional compost containers in the breakrooms and restrooms if a Zero Waste Workplace is installed.

Honestly it may not hold it all– which is the point! One of the benefits of the miniBIN is to have users put bulk material, excess food & trash into the central convenience site landfill and recycling bins vs leaving it at their office desk to attract rodents and other pests. You may need to empty the mini-bin every day- OR, you may realize how little landfill waste you produce!

Hospitals, governments, businesses, and universities across the country have found great success with the implementation of a miniBIN program:

-The City of San Jose established the miniBIN program in 1997. For the city’s two largest buildings, city hall and police headquarters, landfill waste disposal pickup was reducing by roughly 50% resulting in collection fee savings of $11,000.
-UNC-Charlotte discovered about a 15 % increase in recycling and a savings of about $13,000 annually in waste liner reduction.
-Porter County, Ind., reduced its waste pickup cost by one-third.
-Kalamazoo County saved about $4,000 annually with an elimination in waste liners.

Waste Reduction and Recycling is committed to testing initiatives that influence both source reduction and waste diversion. Use of the miniBIN is only one step in many initiatives across campus to do just that. As we pass the 50 percent diversion rate margin, we must continue the momentum towards zero waste.

By optimizing bins, adding composting, and providing education to building occupants, Zero Waste Workplace provide multiple benefits, including:
-increased diversion of materials from the landfill
-elimination of deskside bin liners, which saves purchasing costs and labor
-pest & odor prevention by reducing waste kept in deskside bins
-lighter bag pulls due to reduced bin sizes
-creating a closed-loop system for organic waste
-cultivating a culture of sustainability
-advancing campus goals set by NC State’s Sustainability Strategic Plan
-answering commitments mandated by UNCGA Sustainability Policy to develop policies & programs that work toward zero waste