Sustainable Materials Management Promoting materials use to preserve and enhance the Earth by improving their sustainability impact. SMM integrates efforts to reduce materials use, use materials that limit negative impacts, and ensure that disposal practices complete the life cycle of products.


 University Diversion Rate 2014


Overview of Materials Management Goals

Ohio State is striving to divert 90% of the university's materials from the landfill by 2030.  Energy Services and Sustainability is committed to working with the Ohio State community to ensure this diversion is met. This ambitious diversion rate will require forward thinking, innovation, and individual commitments across campus. Everyone in the Ohio State community including faculty, staff, and students can contribute to the success of our diversion by knowing what can be recyled.


Recycling at Ohio State includes comingled materials (paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass), as well as carpeting, books, light tubes, ballasts, batteries, cell phones, computers, landscaping debris, and food materials. 


Why Recycle?

Recycling is one way that we can achieve our materials management goals. Materials management requires stewardship throughout the entire life cycle of materials from purchase to disposal. There are many important reasons to minimize, reduce, and recycle trash at Ohio State.

  • Recycling conserves scarce natural resources such as oil, water, minerals, and trees.  
  • Recycling helps reduce water and air pollution. 
  • Recycling conserves energy as it takes less energy to make new products from recycled materials compared to using virgin materials.
  • Recycling reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing the amount of trash dumped in landfills and the amount of methane emitted to the atmosphere.
  • Recycling is an easy and efficient way to participate in the university's sustainability initiatives.


How to Recycle at Ohio State

Recycling at Ohio State is single stream (also referred to as comingled), meaning all recyclables are placed in the same bin instead of being separated.  However, trash still needs to be placed in a different container.  Many side-by-side trash and recycling containers have been placed around campus in common areas and classrooms.  The lid on the recycling side is differentiated to reflect the shape of common recyclables such as paper and plastic bottles, making it easier for you to recycle in the correct bin.  In some areas, older containers are still used.  Regardless of the signage, these recycling bins should also be used for comingled recycling. Faculty and staff and students are encouraged to learn more about recycling on campus.

Zero Waste at Ohio Stadium

Ohio Stadium is the country's largest Zero Waste stadium.  A 98.68% diversion rate was achieved at the Indiana game in 2014. Zero Waste means diverting 90% or more of materials from the landfill by recycling and composting. Bins for recycling and composting are available throughout the Shoe, and most items purchased inside the stadium are either recyclable or compostable.

Learn more about Zero Waste

Did you know?

Over 50,000 pounds of excess food is picked up and delivered from Ohio State to food banks and soup kitchens, positively impacting community health and reducing our waste stream.