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Zero Waste

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Zero Waste

Together we can get to zero waste.

The Three "R"s

"Reduce, reuse, recycle" may be an old adage, but the message still rings true. Reduce the amount of things you buy and the amount of packaging on those things; reuse items whenever possible rather than buying new or replacing; and recycle any inevitable waste at the end of an item's useful life. It's always better to reduce or reuse, but when things must be discarded, we have the ability to recycle and compost many different types of items on campus.


Surplus Electronics

Electronic waste can be highly toxic and damaging to the environment. Be sure to recycle all electronics; schedule a pickup by e-mailing

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Most batteries end up in landfills, where they contaminate water and soil. Recycle batteries and buy rechargeable replacements.

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Residential Recycling

Living in DC and wondering what you can recycle? DC Public Works accepts mixed paper, glass, aluminum, plastics #1-7 and many others.

DC Recycling Guide

Plastic Bags

The District of Columbia's 5 cent bag fee reduced plastic bag use by 80% in its first year. For those bags we still use, make sure to recycle them to keep them out of our waterways and landfills.

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Cell Phones

Cell phones are highly recyclable, and can often be refurbished and reused in developing countries. Recycle your cell phones in the designated bins across campus.

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The average American discards 68 pounds of clothing a year. Donate unwanted clothing for reuse in the Planet Aid bins located on campus.

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Compost Collection

Composting is the process of speeding up the natural decomposition process of organic material to create a nutrient-rich soil. AU currently composts 33% of its organic waste, and uses the soil produced on campus.

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