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Reduce Waste

NU recycles more than 1,800 tons of the 5,300 tons of waste generated annually, representing a 34 percent diversion rate. While this is a great start, let's get our recycling numbers up and waste figure down! Reducing the amount of waste you put in the landfill lowers greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy usage and methane generation. Evanston and Chicago have fantastic recycling programs and make it simple to reduce your carbon footprint.

Tips:

Reuse it

Use reusable water bottles, shopping bags, mugs, utensils, and plates whenever possible. Designate an area in your home or office to collect extra materials, such as scrap paper, office supplies, or clothes to be reused by peers. If you are a staff or faculty member, post unwanted furniture and supplies that can be reused to the Northwestern Surplus Property Exchange.

Pass it on

Consider donating items that you do not want or need anymore such as:

Recycle

students recyclingIt’s easy! Just keep a recycling bin next your trash can.

  • Need a refresher of what you can recycle at NU?
  • Learn more about Evanston's and Chicago's recycling practices.
  • Plastic bags can be dropped off at the recycling hub on the bottom floor of Norris during the school year, given to your Eco-Rep, or recycled at grocery stores, such as Evanston's Jewel Osco and Whole Foods.
  • TerraCycle collects and reuses SOLO cups, writing utensils, and other non-recyclable plastics.

Eliminate e-waste

e-waste= electronic waste, such as computers, phones, microwaves, monitors, etc.

Shop less

Don’t buy what you don’t need and share or swap with others. When you do shop, avoid products with a lot of packaging and pass if you don’t need a bag for your items.

Buy recycled

When you must buy, consider the materials that make the product:

  • Buy refurbished or recycled-content products.
  • Look for a high percentage of post-consumer content. "Post-consumer" materials have reached their end use and been collected from homes and businesses as opposed to scrap from within the manufacturing process.

Don’t print

View course materials online and use Dropbox or Google drive to share documents and save paper. Rent or purchase online textbooks through Amazon or CourseSmart. If you must print, then conserve paper and ink by printing double-sided, in black and white, and reduce the default margin size of paper.

Junk it

Stop receiving junk mail by going to Catalog Choice or contact the company/organization/vendor directly to opt for paperless communication.

compost soilCompost

Turn your food waste into nutritious soil for your plant! Check out the Evanston composting program.