Zero Waste

Zero Waste  - Five smiling members of team

Explore how our Zero Waste team works to reduce our environmental impact through education and data collection. The team focuses on the effects of food waste, which is a critical and often overlooked element in a sustainable food system, and educating the campus community on zero waste issues. 

Food Waste

Food waste can occur at different points along the food supply chain. The food supply chain includes everything from farming and production, processing, distribution, storage, retail and consumption. Institutions and households generate about 51% of total waste from the food supply chain. This type of food waste is what most of us can control and can work to cut back on.

Compost Garden

We operate an educational compost garden where the campus community can learn the importance of composting for the health of our soils and ecosystems. Food scraps are collected from the kitchens on a weekly basis to feed our systems and produce high quality compost that is used in our vegetable gardens. Students have the opportunity to learn how to operate and manage a half dozen small-scale compost systems.

Grounds for Grounds

In collaboration with UT’s coffee shops and Landscape Facilities, we operate a program called Grounds for Grounds to divert coffee grounds from landfills and transform them into nutrient-dense compost that is used around campus. In fall 2023, the program successfully diverted over 9,281 lbs. of coffee grounds from landfills.

Zero Waste Hero

UT Austin's Zero Waste Hero Certification is a self-paced program on Canvas that provides a unique opportunity for current UT students to prepare to be role models for others and learn more about zero waste on campus. Students will learn about a variety of zero waste topics at their own pace, including recycling, reducing food waste, composting and more. This knowledge is then reinforced through individual practice opportunities and UT Action Hours. This free certification is co-managed by Resource Recovery and University Housing and Dining with developmental funding from Green Fund. Learn more and sign up for the program through Resource Recovery.