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What is Zero Waste?

Zero Waste is a goal set by the College of Charleston to eliminate the concept of waste from our processes here on campus. Instead, we must begin to think of the goods that come in and go out of campus as materials and resources that can and should be reused. To achieve Zero Waste, we must begin to move towards cyclical processes that close the loop of production and replenish themselves indefinitely, such as those described in McDonough and Braungart's book Cradle to Cradle. While recycling is an important component of Zero Waste, the two are very different concepts.  With Zero Waste, we have established a hierarchy for how materials should be dealt with once they have reached their end of use.

 hierarchy

Sustainable Materials Management:

The College of Charleston currently uses a dual-stream system for its recycling program. This means that all recyclable materials are separated into one of two streams: Paper and GPM (Glass, Plastics, and Metals). All materials that can not be sorted into either of these two streams are sent to the landfill.

Paper Signage         GPM Signage        Printer Cartridges         Landfill SignageCompost

Contact Us

We want to hear your questions, comments, and updates on Zero Waste initiatives at the College of Charleston. Visit our Contact Us page and let us know what you think about our programs and how to improve them. Your feedback is invaluable in helping the College achieve Zero Waste by 2025.

The Office of Sustainability would like to thank the following partners for their help in working to make the College of Charleston a Zero Waste campus.

PLAN             CRA               CURC               How 2 Recycle