Zero Waste

Achieve zero waste by 2025 by diverting 90% of waste away from landfills

One of Ohio State's most ambitious goals is to achieve zero waste by 2025 by diverting 90% of waste away from landfills. Ohio State aims to achieve Zero Waste through recycling, repurposing and composting materials.

To achieve zero waste, Ohio State is implementing infrastructure improvements, educating the campus community on recycling contamination and influencing behavior changes, reducing waste, expanding compost options, and reusing durable goods when possible.

Additional accomplishments and initiatives

  • Over 5,000 tons of materials are recycled or reused every year. Standard signage and bin design have been enhanced to encourage students, faculty and staff to recycle correctly.
  • Ohio State collects food scraps, animal bedding, and compostable containers from over 30 locations across campus to be used toward a more beneficial use. For example, Landscape Services uses composted organic material generated on campus in plant beds to improve soil health while minimizing waste.
  • At some of the largest organics waste producers on campus, including Kennedy Commons, the Ohio Union, the Schottenstein Center, Central Production Kitchen, and the Blackwell Inn and Conference Center, grinders and pulpers macerate the waste, which is then taken by Facilities Operations and Development compost vacuum trucks to a local composting facility.
  • In spring 2019, researchers initiated a project exploring the potential for black soldier fly larvae and anaerobic digestion technologies to convert organic waste into energy sources.
  • Ohio State Food Waste Collaborative, a collection of researchers, practitioners and students, promotes the reduction and redirection of food waste.
  • Ohio State donates nearly 50 tons of uneaten food annually to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.

Diversion Rate Baseline (2015): 29.2%
Diversion Rate Performance (2020): 35.8%
Diversion Rate Goal (2025): 90%
Diversion Rate Improvement (To Date): 22.6%

Take action

  • Become educated about what is recyclable on campus.
  • Make thoughtful purchases of only what you need.
  • Say “no thanks” to single-use items such as straws and plastic grocery bags when practical.
  • Choose biodegradable alternatives.
  • Shop “vintage” or used.