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Zero Waste

The University of Minnesota Morris aims to reach a goal of Zero Waste by 2025.

What does zero waste mean?

Zero waste is a goal that guides people to change their lifestyles and practices so they emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. This goal requires designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of our waste materials. At the University of Minnesota Morris, we have been working to rethink our relationship with waste to reduce the amount that is generated by our campus. We will achieve this goal through:

  • conservation
  • reuse 
  • reclaiming and recycling
  • education

Compost

A majority of our waste comes from organics and product packaging. Since 2012 we have worked with Sodexo, our dining service provider, to transition to biodegradable packaging and began to collect both their serving items plus leftover food scraps for cold-weather composting.

Morris students developed cold-weather composting in partnership with Facilities Management, Sodexo staff, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

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UMN Morris teamed up with the Morris Areas School District to start collecting organics in 2017, collecting nearly 100,000 lbs in the first two years.
UMN Morris teamed up with the Morris Areas School District to start collecting organics in 2017, collecting nearly 100,000 lbs in the first two years.

 

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All of the compost generated is used as a fertilizer on our campus gardens, including the Edible Gardens by the Green Prairie Residence Hall
All of the compost generated is used as a fertilizer on our campus gardens, including the Edible Gardens by the Green Prairie Residence Hall

 

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UMN Morris has collected over 600,000 lbs of organics in its first 7 years of composting.
UMN Morris has collected over 600,000 lbs of organics in its first 7 years of composting.