As always, when releasing a Top 10 list, we want to focus on the pros and cons of campus competitions. We are aware that competitions often don’t incentivize the types of system change we need to turn the tide on the ever-growing production of single-use disposable plastics and the demands to build systems that effectively reduce consumption at the systemic level. Campuses often use competition platforms that don’t call for systemic changes as a method of greenwashing their overall sustainability efforts by highlighting an objectively small accomplishment in the grand scheme of their overall sustainability efforts. However, we believe that PLAN’s assessment framework focuses on systemic impacts. Without further ado, read on for profiles of this year's Top 10 Zero Waste Campuses!
Note: If you are interested in Atlas Zero Waste Certification but find the cost to be a prohibitive factor, we want to hear from you! Please submit a request to our Movement Building Fund, also linked in the Certification Application Form.
Left: Students at a campus climate rally; Right: Students gathered around a solar finder for solar energy research
Bar Harbor, ME I 350 students I Private | COA’s full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard
Left: Students conducting a Waste Audit in August 2018; Right: Chou Hall Zero Waste Initiative tabling
Berkeley, CA I 41,900 students I Public | UC Berkeley’s full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard
Left: Students staff bins at events to help attendees reduce waste
Right: Residents get help keeping donatable goods, compost and recycling out of the landfill during move-out
Arcata, CA I 5,336 students I Public | Cal Poly's full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard
Left: A student showing off the new Generation Conscious refillable laundry detergent dispenser.
Right: A group of Compost Friends – students who educate their peers around composting.
Williamstown, MA I 2,152 students I Private | William's full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard
Left: Signs from the No Impact Challenge, where students carried around their waste for a week!
Right: Student with a Green2Go reusable container in the dining hall
Northfield, MN I 2,000 students I Private
Carleton College doesn’t have a scorecard because their assessment was performed as part of Atlas Zero Waste’s pilot program, prior to the development of the scorecard. Scope 1 & 2 were not assessed during the early pilot phase of Atlas.
Left: HaverFarm stand on campus; Right: Haverford’s (Re)use store
Haverford, PA I 1,300 students I Private | Haverford’s full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard
Left: Students tabling at a SewWhat event; Right: Waste Not community tag sale using supplies from move out
Middletown, CT I 3,069 students I Private | Wesleyan's full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard
Left: Campus Clean Up Day 2021; Right: Green Game Day 2021
Storrs, CT I 32,100 students I Public | UConn’s full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard
Left: Dining Hall compost collection; Right: Local produce stand MacShare, ran by students
St. Paul, MN I 2,146 students I Private | Macalester’s full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard
Left: UML’s mascot, Rowdy the River Hawk, next to bin signage; Right: Move out program collection
Lowell, MA I 17,800 students I Public
UMass Lowell doesn’t have a scorecard because their assessment was performed as part of Atlas Zero Waste’s pilot program, prior to the development of the scorecard.