Waste

Creating systems & programs to help everyone reduce, re-use and recycle materials

How materials are utilized or disposed of after use can have climate change, environmental toxicity, and social justice implications. Emory invests in recycling, composting, reducing and reusing materials to be a steward of its surrounding communities.

So Far

  • The Emory Recycles department began recycling white paper in 1990, and since that time, all Emory University academic buildings, residence halls, labs, clinics and offices now have a source-separated recycling and composting program.
  • Emory Healthcare reduces and recycles waste generated in clinics by washing and reusing gowns and linens, reusing sharps containers and donating equipment and materials for use in other countries.
  • Emory Recycles operates the Surplus Properties, where discarded furniture is resold to members of the Emory community.
  • Emory nurtures partnerships with area nonprofits re:loom and MedShare to recycle and reuse old uniforms and medical supplies.

Today

  • In January 2018, Emory University implemented a Waste Policy to make landfill diversion easy, accessible and educational for all who live, work and learn at Emory.
  • Emory Recycles, the Emory Environmental Health & Safety Office, and the Libraries & Information Technology Services collect hard to recycle materials such as light bulbs, batteries, aerosol cans, clean Styrofoam and electronic waste.
  • Emory no longer offers landfill waste containers in exterior spaces on campus, with compost and recycle as the only options.
  • Emory’s employees service their own desk-side waste to improve proper sorting of these materials into compost and recycling bins.

59%

of campus waste was diverted from landfills in 2017

68%

of students report increased sustainable behaviors while at Emory

95%

of construction waste is annually diverted from landfills.

Tomorrow

Supporting culture change towards a “reduce, repair, restore, and reuse” mentality and cradle-to-cradle purchasing is a priority for the coming years. Emory’s Sustainability Vision & Strategic Plan, 2025 calls those at Emory to:

  • All university events will be zero municipal landfill waste by 2020.
  • Divert 95% of non-construction waste from municipal waste landfills (except regulated lab and medical waste) by 2025.
  • Compost, recycle, or reuse at least 95% of food waste, non-hazardous animal bedding, and construction materials by 2025.
  • Meet or exceed leading healthcare industry rates of waste reduction/reuse/recycling to 37% by 2025.