Campus Resources

EPA Organics Recovery Toolkit

The EPA recognized the need to develop an organics recovery toolkit for colleges and universities as schools attempt to organize new or expand existing organics recovery programs.  This toolkit provides technical guidance in the policies, technical and economic feasibility, and implementation issues relevant to developing a sustainable materials management protocol for organics.

Zero Waste Campus Toolkit

Created by the University of Oregon Zero Waste Program in partnership with CURC, this toolkit contains resources regarding the concept of Zero Waste, Zero Waste management practices and a campus pledge and model policy.  This toolkit is also available in a print-friendly version.

Recycling and Beyond: A College Campus Primer 

This online manual provides an overview of strategies for implementation and program development of a college campus recycling programs. The guidebook was created by Christine von Kolnitz, Medical University of South Carolina, and Karyn Kaplan, University of Oregon in 2001 and revised in 2010.

Toolkit for Soft Drink Contracts

Created by Jack DeBell, University of Colorado, Boulder in 2000, this toolkit is designed to help maximize the level of recycling associated with soft drink vending while promoting vendors’ assistance in recycling and waste reduction. The toolkit includes sample bid language, options to address recycling and waste reduction concerns, a cost analysis of converting vending machines from aluminum cans to plastic bottles, and case studies from nine schools around the country.

Reuse Model at Northwestern Dining During a Global Pandemic

This case study goes over NU Dining’s use of reusable plastic clamshells (OZZI) in the dining commons as a sustainable, cost saving, safe, circular solution to dining during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study found that adjusting to new restrictions during COVID-19 also allowed for the introduction of new, sustainable habits and systems.


Resources for Contracts/RFPs

Sample RFP Resource Management Contract (pdf)

ITPI Best Practices in Municipal Waste Contracting (pdf)

SWANA-NWRA –Joint Advisory on Designing Contracts For Municipal Recyclables (pdf)

Joint Advisory Attachment #1: Material Composition Study (pdf)

Joint Advisory Attachment #2: Value of Recyclables (pdf)

(EXAMPLE) UNC Chapel Hill – RFP for Recyclable Indoor Collection Services (pdf)


Composting Resources

Community Composting ResourcesNortheast Recycling Council (NERC)



College Game Day Recycling

CURC has recently collaborated with the U.S. EPA, Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and Virginia Tech to promote football game day recycling on college campuses.

Virginia Tech “Greening Your Game Day” Recycling Guide

This best practices guide is a resource for colleges and universities to implement or improve collegiate game day recycling and sustainability efforts. The guide was produced by a student research team coordinated by the Virginia Tech Office of Energy & Sustainability. It provides an overview of strategies for the implementation and development of a collegiate game day operation. It includes case studies of participants’ programs and a list of best practices for all areas of game day operations to implement or improve a sustainable materials management program. The guide is published in cooperation with the US EPA’s Game Day Challenge, CURC, Keep America Beautiful and Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

GameDay Recycling Challenge

The GameDay Recycling Challenge is a friendly competition for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction at college football games.  It is run by a partnership between the US EPA, CURC, and RecycleMania, Inc.  Find out about past winners and participants.


Partner Organization Resources


Center for EcoTechnology (CET)

CET offers technical assistance to colleges and universities, with a special focus in Massachusetts and in the surrounding region. CET administers RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts, a recycling assistance program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, which offers free consultation and informational documents on buying recycled products, reusing and recycling building materials, and institutional furniture and office equipment reuse.

CET’s website, Wasted Food Solutions offers technical solutions to businesses and non-profits, including college campuses, across the country to reduce, recover, and divert food waste for free. They also offer some informative documents on food donations, hauler contracts and many more resources for free.


Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

  • No Sustainability without Justice: An Anthology on Racial Equity and Social JusticeFREE!
    • A set of resources to share guidance around how racial equity, social equity, diversity, and inclusion are integral components to sustainability for those employed in higher education. These essays discuss racial equity as a necessary condition for a sustainable campus. Some titles of guidebooks include Collaboration Strategies for Sustainability Officers, Building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Into Your Sustainability Program and Equity is Great, but What Does it Have to Do with Sustainability?