Minimizing Waste

Waste Minimization and Recycling at Penn

While waste may not be the largest contributor to Penn’s carbon footprint, it is certainly the most visible. A 2008 waste audit revealed the potential to double the University’s diversion rate of traditional recyclables by adopting campus standards for signage, receptacle design, and collection protocols.

Promotional campaigns will inspire individuals to adopt the mantra of “reduce, re-use, recycle” across campus. The Climate Action Plan calls on the University to reduce its overall waste stream and increase its diversion rate of paper, cardboard, and commingled recyclables to 40 percent by 2014.

Implementing the Climate Action Plan will:

  • Establish a comprehensive campus-wide waste reduction and recycling policy
  • Enable proper waste reduction and recycling practices through education and communication efforts, events and competitions, and improved transparency of the campus collection system
  • Expand the University’s focus beyond recycling by championing green purchasing practices, composting efforts, local food investments, and source reduction initiatives

Penn now recycles ALL plastic. This includes plastic containers (both numbered and unnumbered), plastic utensils, plastic bags, and plastic wrap. Please dispose of ALL plastic into recycling bins. Additionally, Penn also now recycles aluminum foil.

Foam products and PVC plastic are still NOT recyclable at Penn.