UofL rolled-out Single-Stream Recycling
and the Green Mini-Bin in 2010
In 2021, UofL recycled/composted/reused nearly 2.4 million pounds (45%) of our waste.
As reflected in UofL's Strategic Vision for Institutional Zero Waste, our goal is to continually reduce the amount of waste we generate and send to the landfill. You can help:
- Reduce - avoid unnecessary purchases, resource consumption, and excess packaging.
- Reuse - choose reusable items (mugs, bottles, bags, napkins, dining ware, filters, rechargeable batteries, etc.); and swap surplus property or donate items to the UofL Free Store and surplus food to the Cardinal Cupboard.
- Recycle - all of the materials listed below!
Single Stream Recycling
UofL football tailgaters "go green" (Great Day Live - UofL Today, Oct. 23, 2017)
While replacing the fields at UofL's football stadium and Patterson baseball stadium in 2013, UofL recycled 226,000sf (123,470 lbs) of synthetic turf and reused 1.65 million lbs of sand & rubber infill! Read more.
The student group, GRASS, got UofL to up our recycling game back in 2009!
- Any recycling bin on all three UofL campuses can be used to recycle all types of paper, cardboard, plastics, metals, and glass.
- It doesn't matter what color, number, or how clean or empty your item is (though, if you have a chance to dump out food scraps or liquids, please do). If you think it might be recyclable, please put it in one of our single-stream bins. Small amounts of contamination will be sorted out.
Acceptable materials include:
PAPER: All types of paper products: plates, cups, cartons, bags, wrapping, magazines, softcover books, notebooks, newspapers & inserts, glossy paper, mail, envelopes & office paper, etc. Don't worry about clips, staples, clasps, or spiral bindings.
NOT recyclable: tissues or paper towels/napkins (though these are ideal for composting),wax paper, laminated paper, or any paper bonded to foil or plastic (e.g. bubble mailers).
CARDBOARD: All types of corrugated cardboard (including pizza boxes), paperboard, food boxes/trays, catered lunch boxes, coffee cup sleeves, folders, toilet paper rolls, and cartons (e.g. eggs, milk, juice, soup, etc.). Please flatten boxes to save space in bins and reduce our costs (we pay for recycling by VOLUME, not weight). Don't worry about stains or crumbs, but please dump out food scraps, plastic films, and liquids if you can.
NOT recyclable: waxed cardboard (e.g. waxed produce boxes).
PLASTIC: All types, numbers, and colors of hard plastics: bottles, cups, containers, dining ware, lids. Don't worry about residues or crumbs, but please dump out food scraps and liquids if you can.
NOT recyclable: Plastic films, wrappers, chip bags, shopping bags, diapers, condiment packets, any kind of polystyrene (#6) Styrofoam.
METAL: All types of aluminum, steel & tin cans, bottles, trays, caps and foils. Don't worry about residues or crumbs, but please dump out food scraps and liquids if you can.
NOT recyclable: The single-stream system does not accept scrap metal items, light bulbs, or electronic wastes.
GLASS: All types and colors of glass bottles and jars. Don't worry about residues, but please dump out liquids if you can.
NOT recyclable: The single-stream system does not accept lab glassware, windows, ceramics, or light bulbs.
- Materials sorting is done by WestRock Recycling at their facility just six miles south of campus at 2000 Industrial Blvd, off Fern Valley Rd. Watch videos and see photos of the sorting process WestRock uses.
- After sorting, like materials are bailed and shipped via rail or truck to buyers that will use them to make new products with recycled content.
When we rolled out the single-stream recycling system in 2010, office occupants got a green desktop mini-bin for landfill trash, pointing to the fact that their thinking should be flipped - i.e. now you can recycle most of your waste and very little needs to be landfilled! Instead of custodians regularly emptying desk-side trash cans, as they used to, they would now empty your desk-side RECYCLING bin and office occupants are responsible for taking any landfill trash to a central collection point, like in bathrooms.
- Learn more about UofL's Single Stream Recycling program which has been in place since 2010.
- In select buildings on campus, UofL has been piloting a Commercial Dry Waste system in which all standard solid waste is put in one dumpster and sent to WestRock to sort out recyclables. This only works in locations with minimal "wet" wastes such as food and bathroom waste. In these buildings, any "wet" wastes from bathrooms and break rooms should be placed in the WestRock recycling dumpster in opaque black bags that can be easily pulled from the recycling sorting line. All other wastes should be placed in the dumpster loose or in (semi)transparent, non-black trash bags. We began piloting this system at the School of Music in 2015 and in 2017 we removed landfill dumpsters (saving us $450/month) at the following locations: Urban & Public Affairs, Service Complex, Steam & Chilled Water Plant, Stockroom, Lee Street Building, Myers Hall (HSC), and Grounds & Hughes Lot. In 2019, we added Ernst Hall, CTR, Dental School, Houchens, Marshall Center, and Billy Minardi Hall.
Electronic Waste Recycling
- UofL's E-Waste recycling program handled by UofL Surplus (1901 S Floyd St., 502-852-6131), which welcomes drop-offs of electronic wastes for responsible recycling anytime. Both personal and departmental e-waste can be dropped-off at the Surplus Warehouse.
- We can recycle any electronic consumer items, including: all computers, monitors, televisions, printers, copiers, scanners, servers, networking equipment, fax machines, telephones and cellphones, RAM/memory, hard drives, battery backups, and peripherals such as keyboards, mice, speakers, AC adapters, and mixed computer cables/wires.
- Here's how to get departmental eWaste items picked-up for recycling:
Step 1: One of the following forms must be completed for the e-scrap item(s) to be picked up. All forms are located at the Inventory Control/Surplus Property website:
1. A pick-up request for computer hard-drives and laptop computers must be submitted using the “Computing Device Surplus Certification” form.
2. All other electronic items with a UofL Property tag bar-code must be submitted on a “TRANOVER” form (regardless of value).
3. All other electronic items valued over $1000 must be submitted on a “TRANOVER” form.
4. All other electronic items valued under $1000 should be submitted on a “TRANUND” form.
Step 2: After your form has been submitted on-line and has been reviewed by the appropriate department, Physical Plant personnel will come to your location and pick up designated items for reuse or recycling.
- Since November 2015, all these E-Scrap items are recycled by PowerHouse Recycling in Salisbury, NC. Their goal is to be a zero landfill facility. PowerHouse holds the highest Environmental, Health, Safety and Data Destruction certifications in the industry, including ISO 14001 and ISO 45001, R2, e-Stewards certifications and NAID Membership.
- UofL pays no shipping costs and receives a modest per-pound rebate for most items. UofL pays per-pound to recycle non-flat screen TVs and CRT monitors. In sum, E-waste recycling generates a modest amount of revenue for UofL. For example, our August 2016 truck load generated $3,576 in revenue for UofL.
- Watch a video of what happens to your E-waste when you recycle it at UofL!
- All these items contain toxins and reusable components which should be kept out of the normal waste stream. UofL has recycled a considerable quantity of E-waste in recent years, with just over 65,000 pounds recycled in 2020 alone!
- Surplus also accepts CDs, VHS tapes, audio cassettes, floppy disks and DVDs for recycling. These items must be sent to the warehouse without cases or sleeves. Do not send electronic media that contains sensitive or University proprietary information. Refer to Information Security Office policy ISO PS016 for the proper disposal method of electronic media containing sensitive information.
- UofL also offers a Printer Ink/Toner Cartridge Recycling program for departments. Cartridges for all Canon devices are recycled through our contract with Canon. For all other cartridges, simply contact the Stockroom at 852-5890 to obtain a cartridge collection container and then alert Stockroom personnel when the collection container needs to be emptied. Pickup will be made as regular deliveries from Central Receiving are made in your area.
- Did you know that UofL recycles batteries? Over 11,000 pounds of batteries were recycled in 2020 alone!
- The Department of Environmental Health & Safety (DEHS) manages the collection and recycling of batteries for the University.
- Basic instructions for battery recycling at UofL. All battery types are accepted, including:
- Alkaline (A, AA, AAA, C, D, 9-volt)
- Lithium hydride, sealed (Li)
- Nickel-cadmium, sealed (Ni-Cad)
- Nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH)
- Lead-acid, wet-celled (vehicle and golf cart type)
- Lead batteries, sealed (Pb)
- Mercury (Hg)
- DEHS offers departments green buckets to collect batteries for recycling and over 50 green buckets have been placed at various departments throughout Belknap, HSC, and Shelby campuses. When the battery recycling container is near full, University personnel should submit a used battery pick up request on-line.
- Look for battery collection buckets in these locations:
All UofL Housing front desks
Strickler Hall (REACH Rm 126)
Physics, Dept office
Biology, Dept office
Chemistry, Dept office
SAC – 3rd Floor Facilities office
Education, Dept office
Music, Dept office
Urban & Public Affairs, Mailroom
JB Speed, Rooms B-15, 207 and 221)
Sackett Hall, Rm 108
Health Sciences Center:
Library Commons – RSO office
Abel Admin – Dept office (3rd fl)
SPHIS - Admin Office (2nd Fl)
RRC – RRC admin office
Burhans Hall - KPPC
Founders Union – Delphi Center admin office
- On-site battery recycling is now available through University housing! Students living in Bettie Johnson Hall, Community Park, Center Hall, Kurz Hall, Louisville Hall, Medical-Dental Apartments, Miller Hall, Threlkeld Hall, Unitas Tower & University Tower Apartments can drop off their used batteries for recycling at the housing Front Desk.
- Recycling tip: “Reduce, Recharge, and then Recycle!” Whenever possible use rechargeable batteries instead of disposables. The best rechargeable batteries are “low self-discharge” Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) cells. These low-discharge batteries have a lot going for them: they come fully charged (like alkaline batteries), and they can hold their charge over many months, making them suitable for low-drain devices like automatic soap or towel dispensers, remote controls, clocks, and flashlights. Once they start to lose power, you can simply recharge instead of having to throw out and buy new. This saves money and cuts down on toxic waste.
Lighting: Lamp bulb/tube Recycling
- Fluorescent light tubes and compact lamps contain a small amount of mercury. Recycling is the only responsible method of handling lighting waste. Fluorescent lamps are recycled for their mercury (Hg) content and comprehensive recyclers can also recover other metals, soda glass and phosphor powder from fluorescent bulbs.
- The Department of Environmental Health & Safety (DEHS) manages the collection and recycling of lamps for the University.
- Basic instructions for recycling lighting at UofL.The lighting wastes included in this program include:
- Fluorescent light tubes
- Compact fluorescent bulbs, including U-tube and circular
- High-intensity discharge (HID) lamps, such as high pressure sodium and mercury vapor
- Ultra-violet (UV) lamps
- Halogen and xenon lamps
- Physical Plant personnel collect and transport these spent lighting wastes generated from routine service and maintenance operations to several designated DEHS managed accumulation sites.
- University departments can submit a used lamp pick up request on-line.
- On-site compact fluorescent lamp recycling is now available through University housing! Students living in Bettie Johnson Hall, Community Park, Kurz Hall, Louisville Hall, Medical-Dental Apartments, Miller Hall, Unitas Tower & University Tower Apartments can drop off their used bulbs for recycling at the housing Front Desk.
- It is very important to place the used bulb in a bulb box to prevent breakage and mercury poisoning. If the original box is not available, students can request a foam pouch at the Front Desk.
- DEHS also collects other items which contain mercury, such as thermometers, tilt sensors, temperature switches, barometers, manometers, and thermostat probes.
How to Recycle Other Items
- Cell Phones
- Documents for Shredding: UofL contracts with Shred-it for shredding and recycling services. In 2020, UofL recycled 176,485 pounds of paper through Shred-it (equivalent to 1500 trees!).
Hard-to-Recycle Wastes like wrappers, gloves, pens, oral care product packaging, etc.:
UofL student groups and departments have organized recycling drives for a variety of hard-to-recycle products that are shipped to TerraCycle for creative reuse and recycling. TerraCycle offers free recycling programs funded by brands, manufacturers, and retailers around the world to help you collect and recycle your hard-to-recycle waste. Simply choose the programs you’d like to join; start collecting in your home, school, or office; download free shipping labels; and send them your waste to be recycled. You can even earn rewards for your school or favorite non-profit! Learn more.
UofL recycles Waste Cooking Oil from our dining facilities.
> In 2020, with a new vendor, FiltaFry, we were able to increase our collection to 6,500 gallons!
> In 2017, 3,429 gallons was collected for local biodiesel and national yellow grease commodity markets.
> In a 2011-13 partnership with the Louisville Biodiesel Cooperative and Kelley Green Biofuel, our waste oil was converted locally into renewable fuel used by the UofL Grounds Crew.
> As early as 2009, UofL Chemical Engineering students were involved in converting our waste oil into biodiesel for the campus shuttle.
1. Clean, white, bagged Molded Polystyrene (e.g. packing material for computers, appliances, fragile items, etc. - does not include packing peanuts) can be dropped-off free at: Foam Fabricators, 950 Progress Boulevard, New Albany, IN 47150. 812-948-1696
2. Clean Styrofoam coolers used in shipping can be reused! For on-campus reuse, contact Cathy Price (Dept. of Environmental Health & Safety) at 502-852-2956. Also, the local non-profit Supplies Overseas can use such coolers (and other things like saline bags) for shipping medical supplies to needy communities. They accept drop-offs at their warehouse (1500 Arlington Ave.) 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday. 502-736-6360.
Request a recycling pickup at your location. Get all the details on Physical Plant's recycling operations here.
For questions regarding recycling of toxins such as batteries, chemicals, and light tubes, please contact the Hazardous Waste Coordinator, Cathy Price (Dept. of Environmental Health & Safety) at 502-852-2956.
For all other recycling inquiries please contact UofL's recycling coordinator, Greg Schetler (Physical Plant) at 502-387-0707.
Got personal stuff to recycle? Learn what can be recycled off-campus in Louisville, including electronic waste!
- UofL is turning organic wastes into valuable fertilizer both on-site and off-campus! Learn how. Help us out and get your hands dirty with UofL's Composting Project!
You can compost your own food scraps on campus in outdoor compost bins at the:
- UofL Community Composting Project site at the north end of UofL's Grounds Lot at 240 E. Bloom St. just one block north of Cardinal Blvd. between Brook and Floyd Streets (map here).
- Garden Commons (northeast of Baptist Campus Ministry)
- Urban & Public Affairs garden at 426 W. Bloom St. (behind Bettie Johnson Hall).
- UofL's LEED Gold certified Center for Predictive Medicine on the Shelby campus features a "Birthday" Garden with a compost bin.
Special indoor collection bins for plant-based materials picked-up for composting are available at:
- Humanities 313 (Philosophy Department)
- Strickler 310 (Communication Department)
- Urban & Public Affairs 112 (1st floor kitchen)
* If you'd like a compost bucket for your department and have a volunteer to set it out weekly, we're happy to come pick it up for you! Just contact Brian Barnes at 502-338-1338.
- No meat, bones, or dairy products are accepted in any of these on-site composting bins. This helps reduce problems with odors and vermin.
- Please contribute any plant-based wastes such as food scraps, paper towels, paper plates/cups/sleeves, napkins, tissues, newspaper, cardboard/pizza boxes (please tear up large pieces), coffee grounds, tea bags, fruit peels, vegetable scraps, bread & baked goods, leaves, etc.
- Start a compost collection in your building! All it takes is a dedicated volunteer willing to bring a bin out to the curb on a Friday afternoon and back into the building on Monday morning. The UofL Community Composting Project will come by over the weekend to collect your organics. To start the wheels turning, contact the Project Director, Brian Barnes, 502-338-1338.
- Get a compost pick-up at your home, business, office, church, or anywhere in town! If you cannot compost on-site, you can contract for weekly pickup at a low monthly rate through the Louisville Compost Co-op that works in partnership with UofL's Community Composting Project.
- Off-Campus Composting: After a couple years of proving the concept through our on-campus composting project, in March 2012, UofL sought to scale-up food waste composting efforts by establishing a sub-contract for collection and pick-up of all food wastes from UofL Dining facilities as well as our Early Learning Campus. This contract is now managed by WestRock Recycling. This allows us to compost both pre- and post-consumer food wastes, as well as meats, bones, and dairy-products, all of which are now collected and composted into organic soil amendments by Smith Creek of Borden, Indiana, about 20 miles northwest of campus. In 2019 alone, this system kept 463,420 pounds of food waste out of the landfill!
Got something to get rid of? Need something?Post it on Freecycle!
Old Cardinal Stadium seating repurposed for bus stops (WDRB, Sept. 26, 2019)
- Departmental Items: UofL's surplus property exchange program allows staff and faculty to swap reusable departmental items such as furniture, equipment, electronics, and supplies. Surplus items no longer needed by the University may be donated to another state/governmental agency or non-religious non-profit organization. Unclaimed Surplus items are ultimately auctioned to the public. Surplus does not accept small/low-value items like office supplies, but you can donate them to the UofL Free Store or local non-profits like the Louisville Story Program! UofL also donates unwanted building materials, furniture, and appliances to Louisville's Habitat for Humanity ReStores where they can get a new life while raising funds for affordable housing projects.
Sustainability at UofL: GRASS develops Free Store
(The Louisville Cardinal, 4/3/13)
- Free Store: Located in SAC W303C, the UofL Free Store is run by interns and volunteers who help process donations and keep the store tidy and organized in support of the project to help keep useful items out of the landfill while meeting the needs of their peers. The Free Store is a space for the on-going free exchange of clean, functional, durable items like clothing, shoes, electronics, small appliances, household items, bath & beauty supplies, books, school & art supplies, non-perishable food, and more. Donations can be made any time in the red bins at the base of the driveway just east of Unitas Tower, off Cardinal Blvd. The store is open to all UofL students and employees set hours each week during the regular academic year. Volunteers wanted! Follow the Free Store on or .
Goodwill Donations: In April 2016, UofL solidified an on-going partnership with Goodwill Industries of Kentucky to capture even more items for reuse. Permanent Goodwill collection bins are now available in the lobbies of all nine Belknap Campus Housing locations: Bettie Johnson Hall, Community Park, Kurz Hall, Louisville Hall, Medical-Dental Apartments, Miller Hall, Unitas Tower & University Tower Apartments. Please use these bins at your convenience to donate any of the following items and help us keep more stuff out of the landfill:
• Other textiles (towels, linens, curtains, pillows)
• Books, music, media (VHS tapes, DVDs, CDs, computer/gaming software)
• Accessories (purses, backpacks, belts, neck ties, hats)
Goodwill CANNOT accept any of the following items: Glass, Paint, Chemicals, Car batteries, Tires, Computers or computer components, or Televisions.
Year Donated to Goodwill 2021 2,418 lbs. 2020 1,549 lbs. 2019 7,286 lbs. 2018 4,751 lbs 2017 8,617 lbs 2016 5,331 lbs
UofL's Zero Waste partnership with Goodwill Industries (WAVE 3 Listens Live, April 23, 2108)
‘Lighten Your Load’ initiative helps UofL students move out of dorms sustainably (WHAS-11, April 25, 2014)
- Zero Waste Move-Out: During Move-Out time, UofL Housing residents are encouraged to donate and exchange reusable items through the "Lighten Your Load" (formerly "Give and Go") collections and associated Free Stuff Swap hosted at the end of the year by Campus Housing in partnership with Goodwill Industries of Kentucky. At its pre-pandemic peak in 2019, during the Lighten Your Load Move-Out Waste Reduction campaign, students donated 7,286 pounds of reusable goods to Goodwill! Look for signs and collection bins in residence hall lobbies as you think about moving out!
- WaterStep - Used Shoes: UofL hosts several collection boxes around campus (including outside Health Promotion, SAC W309) for used shoe donations to the local non-profit WaterStep. Donated shoes are resold or recycled to generate revenue for safe drinking water projects all over the world — projects that help to save hundreds of thousands of lives each year. They accept gently used shoes that are free of mold/mildew. Athletic shoes are preferred, but all styles of shoes are accepted. Shoes are sold to an exporter and funds received help bring clean water to those in need.
- Styrofoam Coolers: Clean Styrofoam coolers used in shipping can be reused! For on-campus reuse, contact Cathy Price (Dept. of Environmental Health & Safety) at 502-852-2956. Also, the local non-profit Supplies Overseas can use such coolers (and other things like saline bags) for shipping medical supplies to needy communities. They welcome both one-time and regular donations of surplus medical supplies and equipment from all individuals, hospitals, medical clinics, and other health care organizations throughout the region. They accept drop-offs at their warehouse (1500 Arlington Ave.) 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday. 502-736-6360.
UofL employees & alumni kick off Homecoming 2017 with community service at Supplies Overseas (UofL News, Oct. 10, 2017)
Surplus medical equipment from UofL gets a second life in Ghana (UofL News, Feb. 6, 2017)
UofL Recycling Statistics
UofL Solid Waste & Recycling Annual Trends - Explore our full 2021 Recycling Report
|Year||Total Waste Generated (lbs.)||Waste Landfilled (lbs.)||Waste Recycled (lbs.)||Percent Diverted from Landfill*|
*2016-17 rates were significantly higher due to many new campus construction projects, including the demolition of Crawford Gym and the Student Services Annex which together generated nearly 17,000,000 pounds of demolition waste which was recycled in 2016. The primary cause for the 2011 drop in landfill diversion was an unusually high percentage of construction debris in our waste stream that could not be recycled. Our landfill diversion rate without construction/demolition waste was: 43.4% in 2021, 55.2% in 2020, 43.0% in 2019, 43.7% in 2018, 42.9% in 2017, and 39.3% in 2016.
|UofL Annual Recycling Totals
|Printer Cartridges (quantity)||467||704||1,935||2,050||2,551||3,198||4,885||2,443||2,047||3,374||2,743||3,024|
|Waste Petroleum Products||0||1,320||3,500||0||0||3,700||0||4,400||3,325||0||1,832||3,115|
|Cooking Oil||79,800||52,030||20,000||20,000||25,690||no data||18,250||15,692||no data||no data||no data||no data|
|Wood||142,680||0||0||1,961,740||1,104,940||78,220||0||125,940||no data||no data||no data||no data|
|Concrete||0||0||0||17,441||17,086,000||16,027,200||200,000||118,800||no data||no data||no data||no data|
Explore our full 2021 Recycling Report
Campus Race to Zero Waste!
Formerly known as RecycleMania, UofL competes annually in this friendly 8-week competition among universities to reduce waste and maximize landfill diversion, through increased reuse, recycling and composting! Keep up with the Cards progress at the Campus Race to Zero Waste website.
Help the Cards to victory by:
>> Avoiding Disposables!
- Drink & serve Louisville's award-winning tap water instead of bottled water. Fill up your bottle easily at one of our many filling stations around campus!
- Use reusable cloth towels, wipes, and sponges instead of disposable paper products.
Go Paperless! Instead of printing, use electronic file-sharing like Cardbox, Blackboard, GoogleDocs or Dropbox.
- Instructors: Get the mobile app for paperless exams!
- If you must use copy/print, choose double-sided or the blank side of scrap paper.
- Eat & drink with reusable mugs, cups, plates, utensils & cloth napkins rather than disposables. If you're headed out, bring your own! At UofL Dining outlets and some area coffee shops & other outlets, you'll earn significant discounts when you use your own reusable mug/bottle for drink purchases!
- Use reusable filters instead of disposable ones in your coffeemaker, furnace, etc.
- Use rechargeable batteries rather than single-use, toxic disposables.
- Avoid unnecessary purchases and excess packaging. Buy in bulk.
- Bring reusable shopping bags instead of accepting new paper or plastic bags.
- Save some money and the planet by first seeking used and pre-owned items before shopping for new. UofL departments can freely exchange durable items like furniture and equipment for reuse through UofL Surplus.
- Go further! 42 Ways to Not Make Trash
>> Recycling All You Can!
- Fully utilize UofL’s amazingly easy, Single Stream Recyclingsystem that lets you recycle everything in the same bin: all types of plastic, paper, cardboard, metal, and glass!
- Recycle all types of batteries, lighting, printer cartridges, lighting, chemicals, and cell phones at UofL.
- Donate clean, unwanted items to the UofL Free Store. Donations are accepted 24/7 in the large red bin at the bottom of the ramp next to Unitas Tower off Cardinal Blvd near Brook Street. The UofL Free Store is a space for the on-going free exchange of items like clothing, shoes, electronics, small appliances & furniture, household items, bath/beauty/health supplies, books & media, office/school/art supplies, non-perishable food, and more. Goodwill donation bins are also available in the lobbies of all UofL residence halls.
- UofL's surplus property exchange program (1901 S Floyd St.) allows staff and faculty to swap reusable departmental items such as furniture, equipment, electronics, and supplies. Surplus also handles UofL's E-Waste recycling program for any departmental electronic consumer items, including computers & peripherals, monitors, TVs, printers, copiers & more.
Compost your plant-based food scraps, coffee grounds, and paper towels/napkins/plates/filters on campus in bins at the:
- UofL Community Composting site (250 E. Bloom St. just one block north of Cardinal Blvd. between Brook and Floyd Streets - map here).
- Garden Commons
- Horticulture Zone garden behind the Urban Studies Institute at 426 W. Bloom St. (behind Bettie Johnson Hall)
Campus Race to Zero Waste 2022 Results
For the 12th year in a row, the University of Louisville took on the competition in the North American Campus Race to Zero Waste, from January 1st to March 26th, 2022. As a part of Ecolympics 2022, students, faculty, and staff were encouraged and incentivized to take green actions and share them with others. Full Results here.
In the Diversion category, UofL had our best year ever, finishing #1 among large universities! Out of all 103 schools, UofL finished #8 in the nation, #1 in the ACC, and #1 in the state, with an overall Recycling Rate of 63.438% during the 8-week competition from January 1st to March 26th, 20202. Full Results here.
In the Per Capita Classic, we almost doubled the pounds recycled per person from 2021, having recycled 8.887lbs/person, blowing past all the other state schools for a 1st place finish in Kentucky and a national ranking of 54th.
In 2022, as our new customer-facing composting collection system in UofL Dining continues to grow and mature, UofL continued to dominate in composting, finishing 1st in Kentucky and 17th in the country in the Food Organics category, improving our score to 70.50 points.
In the all-important Waste Minimization category, UofL back-slid a bit from 2021, with total waste production up a bit to 21.96 lbs/person over 8 weeks. That’s still less than one-third the waste per capita that University of Kentucky produced during the competition!
In 2022, UofL got serious about eWaste Recycling and joined forces with the UofL eSports Team for a month-long eWaste Collection Drive that brought in 11,050 lbs. of electronics for recycling, or 0.46 lbs/person! That landed us 9th in the nation for total weight, and tied with EKU in 10th place for per capita eWaste recycling.
All 200 schools involved in the 2022 competition together donated, composted and recycled 27.9 million pounds of waste, preventing the release of 30,288 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere, which is equal to avoiding the annual emissions from 6,376 cars!
Congratulations to all our 2022 Ecolympians who made this incredible accomplishment possible!
Campus Race to Zero Waste 2021 Results
- In the Diversion category, UofL was not quite able to match our 2020 performance, but we held our own! Out of 209 schools, UofL finished #1 in the ACC, #2 in the state, and #21 in the nation, with an overall Recycling Rate of 45.614% during the 8-week competition from January 31st to March 27th, 2021. Congrats to our Louisville neighbors, JCTC, who defeated us with their impressive recycling prowess, finishing 5th in the nation with a recycling rate of 65.918%! Full Results here.
- In the Per Capita Classic, having recycled 4.990 lbs/person, UofL finished in 2nd place in Kentucky and improved our national ranking to 73rd.
- In 2021, after rolling out a new customer-facing composting collection in UofL Dining, UofL continued to improve our dominance in composting, finishing 1st in Kentucky and 15th in the country in the Food Organics category, with 70.00 points.
- In the all-important Waste Minimization category, UofL seriously upped our game from 2020, finishing 2nd in the state, with total waste production down to just 18.32 lbs/person over 8 weeks.
- Congratulations to all of our eight weekly Ecolympics 2021 winners who took an incredible variety of creative green actions throughout the Campus Race to Zero Waste: Leah Hazelwood, Anam Ahmed, Emily Nunez, Rebecca Eaton, Megan Cooper, Stacy Henley, Mimi Conti, and Megan E. Miller. Each one received a unique sustainability-themed prize pack! Our Grand Prize winner was Envirome Institute administrative assistant, Emily Coleman, who inspired all of us by sharing over 200 sustainable actions throughout the competition! She pedaled home on her prize: a slick, Cardinal-colored Dahon folding bicycle! All winners received an experiential prize on Earth Day 2021 - an insider's sustainability tour of UofL's LEED Gold Student Rec Center, including a climb up to the roof to check out the solar water heating system!
RecycleMania 2020 Results:
- In the Diversion category, UofL upped our game from 2019, this time finishing in the TOP TEN nationally! Out of 145 schools, UofL finished #10 in the nation, #1 in the ACC, and #1 in the state, with an overall Recycling Rate of 63.485% during the abbreviated 5-week competition from February 2nd to March 7th, 2020. Full Results here.
- More importantly, UofL also reduced our overall waste production during this time, so we dropped down a notch in the Per Capita Classic, having recycled 6.691 lbs/person, for a 2nd place finish in Kentucky and a national ranking of 83rd.
- UofL improved our dominance in composting, finishing 1st in Kentucky and 33rd in the country in the Food Organics category, with 20.00 points.
- In the all-important Waste Minimization category, UofL seriously upped our game from 2019, finishing 53rd nationally and 3rd in the state, with total waste production down to 26.46 lbs/person over 5 weeks.
- In Total Recycling, UofL held steady, finishing 2nd in the state and 38th in the nation by recycling 334,020 lbs. and composting 86,315 lbs. for a total of 420,335 lbs. over 5 weeks.
- All these efforts to keep waste out of the landfill equate to reducing our carbon emissions by 614 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent. That's equivalent to taking 133 cars off the road for a year, powering 104 homes with renewables for a year, switching 23,326 incandescent lamps to LEDs, or growing 10,153 tree seedlings for 10 years!
RecycleMania 2019 Results:
- In the Diversion category, UofL upped our game from 2018, again finishing #1 in the state and 18th out of 159 nationally, with an overall Recycling Rate of 57.65% during the 8-week competition from February 3rd to March 30th, 2019.
- UofL also improved our performance in the Per Capita Classic, having recycled 16.841 lbs/person, for a 1st place finish in Kentucky and a national ranking of 42nd.
- In Total Recycling, UofL improved as well, finishing 2nd in the state and 36th in the nation by recycling and composting 537,408 lbs. over 8 weeks.
- For our efforts to compost, UofL finished 1st in Kentucky and 89th in the country in the Food Organics category, with 18.00 points.
- In the all-important Waste Minimization category, UofL finished 129th nationally and 5th in the state, with a total waste production of 39.72 lbs/person.
RecycleMania 2018 Results:
- In the Diversion category, UofL upped our game from 2017, again finishing #1 in the state and 19th out of 171 nationally, with an overall Recycling Rate of 57.05% during the 8-week competition from February 4th to March 31st, 2018.
- UofL came in 2nd in Kentucky for the Per Capita Classic, having recycled 14.426 lbs/person (70th nationally).
- In Total Recycling, UofL finished 2nd in the state and 53rd in the nation, recycling 358,729 lbs. over 8 weeks.
- UofL was the only Kentucky school to enter the Electronics Waste Recycling competition, finishing 46th in the nation after collecting 300 lbs (or 0.012 lbs/person) of electronics for recycling.
- In the Grand Champion category, UofL was #1 in the state and 37th out of 190 nationally, with an overall Recycling Rate of 53.885% during the 8-week competition from February 5th to April 1st, 2017.
- UofL came in 2nd in Kentucky for the Per Capita Classic, having recycled 10.777 lbs/person (102nd nationally).
- The Cards also did a whole lot of composting, nearly doubling our 2016 numbers and keeping 3.719 lbs/person of food waste out of the landfills (ranking us 72nd nationally and 2nd in Kentucky behind Berea College).
- In Waste Minimization, UofL finished 2nd in the state and 35th in the nation, generating 26.903 lbs/person of total waste.
- UofL was the only Kentucky school to enter the Electronics Waste Recycling competition with our pilot E-waste collection of 233 lbs of electronics on February 13th.
- All together, this translates to reducing UofL's greenhouse gas emissions by 451 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (or the same as taking 89 cars off the road, or the energy consumption of 39 households).
RecycleMania 2016 Results:
- In the Grand Champion category, UofL was #1 in the state and 36th out of 208 nationally, with an overall Recycling Rate of 50.23% during the 8-week competition from February 7th to April 2nd, 2016.
- UofL also landed the top rank in Kentucky for the Per Capita Classic, having recycled 12.4 lbs/person (105th nationally).
- The Cards also did a whole lot of composting, keeping 2.3 lbs/person of food waste out of the landfills (ranking us 2nd in Kentucky behind Berea College).
- All together, this translates to reducing UofL's greenhouse gas emissions by 434 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (or the same as taking 85 cars off the road, or the energy consumption of 38 households).
RecycleMania 2015 Results:
- In the Grand Champion category, UofL was #1 in the state and 15th out of 232 nationally, with an overall Recycling Rate of 63.5% during the 8-week competition from February 1st to March 28th, 2015.
- UofL also landed the top rank in Kentucky for the Gorilla Prize, having recycled at total of 245,859 lbs, or 7.2 lbs/person (Per Capita Classic).
- The Cards also did a whole lot composting, keeping 2.7 lbs/person of food waste out of the landfills (ranking us 2nd in Kentucky behind Berea College).
- All together, this translates to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 258 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (or the same as taking 51 cars off the road, or the energy consumption of 22 households).
RecycleMania 2014 Results:
- In the Grand Champion category, UofL was second in the state (behind JCTC) and 116th out of 256 nationally, with an overall Recycling Rate of 29.7% during the 8-week competition from February 2nd to March 29th, 2014.
- UofL recycled at total of 101,332 lbs (taking 1st place in the state for the Gorilla Prize), or 5 lbs/person (Per Capita Classic).
- That translates to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 142 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (or the same as taking 28 cars off the road, or the energy consumption of 12 households).
RecycleMania 2013 Results:
- In Waste Minimization, UofL finished first in the state and 20th out of 168 nationally, with a total waste generation of 14.655 lbs/person.
- In the Grand Champion category, UofL was second in the state (behind JCTC) and 37th out of 274 nationally, with an overall Recycling Rate of 48.87% during the 8-week competition from February 3rd to March 30th, 2013.
- UofL recycled at total of 144,766 lbs (taking 1st place in the state for the Gorilla Prize), or 7.16 lbs/person (Per Capita Classic).
- This total includes 3.49 lbs/person of Paper, 2.15 lbs/person of Cardboard, 1.52 lbs/person of Bottles & Cans, and 2.73 lbs/person of Food Service Organics.
- That translates to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 335 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (or the same as taking 66 cars off the road, or the energy consumption of 29 households).
RecycleMania 2012 Results:
- From February 5th to April 5th, 2012 UofL competed with 605 colleges and universities across the continent and recycled 174,864 pounds of waste, or 7.17 pounds/person.
- That translates to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 116 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (or the same as keeping 62 cars off the road, or the energy consumption of 31 households).
- UofL finished 43rd in the competition for waste minimization, reducing our trash by 21.39 pounds/person.
- We finished 69th in terms of Corrugated Cardboard, recycling 4.81 pounds of cardboard/person; and 109th in Food Service Organics, composting 0.49 pounds of organics/person.
- UofL achieved a weekly recycling rate of 33.51% (98th).
RecycleMania 2011 Results:
- During RecycleMania 2011, UofL recycled 241,782 pounds of waste, or 10.91 pounds/person, with a recycling rate of over 36%...beating the University of Kentucky in 4 out of 7 categories!
Check out our hilarious, blast-from-the-past 2011 RecycleMania Cardinal Cam Video!