Zero Waste

Find out how YOU can help USD become a Zero Waste campus!


**Interested in becoming a Zero Waste Guru? Find out more!!


Do you have an event on campus? Check out the Green Events Checklist to help make your event sustainable. Need help purchasing supplies for your event? Check out these Purchasing Guidelines and tips to buy sustainable products. 


USD is becoming a Zero Waste Campus!

Zero waste is the idea that we can live anywhere without accumulating waste. With a zero waste perspective we imagine a future where all goods are either reusable indefinitely, recyclable, or biodegradable. Our main focus is greening the SLP, the building that produces the most waste on campus, through composting and further waste diversion. Mother Rosalie Hill Hall is also a main focus to be on track to become the first zero waste building on campus. The Zero Waste philosophy can be applied to any product or material; no resources should ever end up in a landfill! See how USD diverts 60% of its waste from the landfill.




1) USD reduces paper waste!
• To reduce paper signage, USD’s organizations utilize email listings and online forums to notify students of major events.
• All paper contains recycled content.
• Coffee sleeves, napkins, and to-go containers are made of recycled content.


2) USD reduces food waste!
• Used cooking oil is recycled, and much of it is turned into biodiesel.
• The SLP is home to a BioHiTech Food Digester that transforms 3,200 lbs. of food waste into water each week. It can reduce 470,000 lbs. of CO2 in one year.
• All dining locations are 100% Styrofoam-free and tray-free.
• All dining locations offer biodegradable cups, containers, and utensils.


3) USD reduces harmful electronic waste!
• USD is the first college campus with its own full-time Electronic Waste Center.
• The EPA estimates that only 25% of e-waste is recycled properly. The E-Waste Center has recycled or resold over 500,000 lbs. of e-waste.


4) USD reduces wasted water!
• Low-flow aerators in all faucets and low-flow showerheads, as well as water-efficient toilet and urinals across campus, create a 15% reduction in water use.
• Rain Bird satellite sprinkler system records the climate and minimizes campus irrigation water use accordingly.
• Water fountains and filling stations around campus encourage reusable water bottle usage.


5) USD reduces wasted energy!
• Through various efficiency projects, the university saves 20% total energy usage.
• All outdoor lighting was upgraded to meet energy efficiency standards and reduce the university’s carbon footprint.
• USD uses renewable energy through the 1.23-megawatt solar panel system.