Zero Waste Campus

Water bottle being refilled at a water bottle refill station in the Daley Library

UIC is committed to operating an efficient campus that is continually working towards eliminating waste. The UIC Climate Commitment of Zero Waste Campus refers to sustainable waste management system that emphasizes waste prevention as opposed to end-of-pipe waste management. It is a whole systems approach that aims for a massive change in the way materials flow through society, resulting in no waste.

UIC defines zero waste as a 90% diversion rate of landfill-bound material through techniques such as source reduction, materials reuse, recycling, and composting. Zero waste systems prevents pollution and avoid costs associated with landfill disposal. It also reduces carbon emissions by diverting discarded materials from methane-generating landfills and avoiding carbon emissions associated with extracting, processing, and transporting raw materials and waste. By implementing a Zero Waste Campus approach, UIC will significantly decrease the university’s impact on environment

UIC will divert 90% of landfill-bound material through techniques such as source reduction, materials reuse, recycling, and composting.

Aspirational Goals

2A. Increase Waste Diversion Rates Divert 90% of waste from landfills.

2B. Shape a new culture of closed-loop waste management operations – Develop a Recycling and Composting Policy. Divert 90% of construction and demolition waste from landfill.

2C. Serve as a resource for the City of Chicago – Plan an on-site or local area facility for food waste recovery, such as food scrap composting, anaerobic digestion, and waste-to-energy generation.

2D. Enhance Zero Waste Education – Design new and integrated curriculum around the concept of zero waste. Promote co-curricular activities and educational programs for waste reduction.

Guiding documents and actions taken from Zero Waste Campus