Boston University, Goodwill Industries Divert Landfill Waste

April 29, 2013

Boston University Sustainability and Goodwill Industries partner to divert landfill wasteIn a continuing effort to reduce on-campus landfill waste, BU Sustainability has partnered with Goodwill Industries for the annual end-of-semester donation drive.

When walking through the residence halls, the blue donation bins have become a familiar presence on campus. Over the past four years, Boston University students have diverted more than 146 tons of gently used clothing and house ware items, rather than having these items taken to area landfills. In addition to clothing and other items, Barnes and Noble will be collecting books to donate to local literacy programs.

Both of these initiatives are just a small part of what is being done on campus to create a more sustainable future. For more than two decades, BU has been active in increasing the awareness of issues concerning sustainability through more active research and added curriculum.

On campus, BU Sustainability actively works in eight categories: Climate Action, Energy, Waste Reduction, Water, Food, Transportation, Green Buildings, and Green Purchasing. Over the years, BU has made significant strides in lessen its impact on the environment through these categories.

Here are a few highlights:

Climate Action
In an effort to become more informed on the carbon footprint left by the university, BU began tracking their Greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory in order to better implement plans to lessen its impact. Although an ongoing project, since 2005 the GHG emissions of the university have been reduced by 6 percent, despite a 12 percent increase in campus growth in the same time period.

Waste Reduction
In 2012, excluding construction projects, 68 percent of the university’s total waste was incinerated at a waste-to-energy facility. Additionally, 32 percent was diverted, of that, 16 percent was recycled, 13 percent was composted and 3 percent was recycled.

Within Dining Services, BU makes an effort to purchase local and organic products whenever it is economically feasible. Additionally, all eggs used are cage-free and all dining halls offer vegan options. Dining Services also play a larger role in campus wide waste and water reduction.

For more information about the sustainability programs at Boston University, visit

-Kristen Sims

Photo Credit: Boston University