Campus Recyclers See Challenges & Opportunities from COVID-19

Barrie, ON (January 20, 2021) – A partnership of organizations has published the preliminary results of their survey into the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education waste reduction efforts. Recycling and sustainability managers from over 130 schools across the US and Canada have participated in the 15-question survey covering topics such as indoor collection programs, budget impacts, and reusable to-go food container programs. Among the results, COVID is causing:

  • Many schools to convert deskside waste to self-service collections. Roughly 20% have or are actively considering the shift.
  • 30% of schools to temporarily suspend reusable to-go food container programs, even as 8% are working to introduce or expand such programs.
  • 29% of schools to cut recycling staff positions.

Click to view highlights of the preliminary results
Click to read blog with key analysis of key takeaways

These preliminary results are a follow up to a separate earlier survey conducted in August about impacts to fall term reopening plans. This second survey is being conducted by a partnership of College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC) and the US Composting Council(USCC), Busch Systems Consulting, Zero Waste Campus Council, and NRC Campus Council.

Full Results Available to Survey Participants

Results for the entire survey including details about current waste reduction priorities and impacts to procurement policies, along with respondent’s detailed comments are available exclusively to schools that complete the survey.

Last Chance to Be Counted!

Colleges and universities are still encouraged to complete the survey (takes 15-minute or less). The final results will be incorporated into articles submitted to higher ed and recycling industry journals later this spring. Final deadline to participate is January 22.

Click to Fill Out Survey

Contact: Alec Cooley
(843) 530 7582