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Waste Minimization

Lead: Darin Saul, Sustainability Coordinator

Vision: The author of this Strategic Innovation Initiative challenges the University of Idaho to take further steps to become more sustainable. He lays out a series of steps to reduce our waste stream, recycle or reuse whenever possible, and, in the process, reduce costs. These activities will reduce our carbon footprint, and maybe most notably, provide models for our students to learn from so that they can use these strategies in their personal and work lives as members of the university community and after graduation.

This initiative builds on the work of the University of Idaho Sustainability Center and illustrates strong collaborations with student governments, Dining Services, Student Affairs, and Facilities. It also builds on work in the Goal 4 team dealing with our culture and climate, as well as the Goal 3 team that calls for a closer partnership with our communities. This initiative is directly in line with the Talloires Declaration we have signed and our stated commitment to be a more sustainable university.

The specifics of the Strategic Innovation Initiative argue that we should reduce waste in three key areas: paper products, food waste, and electronic equipment waste. For example, in 2008 alone, the university disposed of almost 25 tons of computer monitors. This is an area where centralized purchasing and e-waste disposal could create a lower cost and more environmentally-friendly system.