Waste reduction initiatives on campus fall into two categories: reducing resource use and recycling. Recycling is coordinated through Warehouse & Delivery Services and supported by educational programs through the Office of Sustainability. The Office also works with academic and administrative departments throughout the campus to find ways to reduce the unnecessary use of materials. Waste reduction relies to a great extent on individual choices such as recycling, double-sided printing, reusing furniture, and switching to paperless forms of communication.  

Resource Use Reduction

Paperless Offices

  • Admissions Office
    • The Admissions Office has dramatically increased efficiency and improved customer service by implementing a new software system that allows them to do away with paper files, saving over 300,000 sheets of paper annually.
  • Office of General Counsel
    • Notre Dame’s Office of General Counsel has switched from paper to electronic Conflict of Interest forms, saving over 5,000 sheets of paper each year.
  • Immigration Services Office
    • ISO has effectively transitioned around 276 inches of files and 59,000 images from paper to digital format. Going paperless has helped ISO streamline immigration document registration, increased efficiency and greatly decreased paper consumption. 
  • Procurement Services
    • Procurement Services has changed their expense reporting system so that everything is now electronic. This online expense-reporting system will save approximately 400,000 sheets of paper per year, the equivalent of 5 tons of wood or 10,000 pounds of carbon emissions

Campus Mass Mail Policy

In 2009 Campus Mail changed its policies to only accept up to 300 of the same item within a one month period. This policy is designed not to reduce campus communications, but rather to streamline it through existing channels, thereby reducing printing costs and paper use. These channels include: inside.nd.edu, the University calendar, calendar.nd.edu, ND Works, TheWeek@ND, the Observer, and digital signage.  This policy will apply to all mailings except those mandated by regulatory compliance or those that receive an exception approval from the Office of Sustainability. 

Grab ’n Go Reusable Bags

Starting in the beginning of the 2015-16 academic year, all students will be asked to bring their own bag to Grab 'n Go or purchase a reusable bag, which can be purchased at either the Huddle Mart located in LaFortune or the South Dining Hall's Grab n' Go. A result of student feedback, the use of reusable bags will eliminate 196,000 paper bags from the waste stream. Money saved from the change will be directed towards increasing local food purchasing. 

Welcome Weekend Information

Instead of using paper flyers and maps, make sure to download the Welcome Weekend App to your smartphone to get updates and maps of campus.  The Welcome Weekend component within the ND Mobile App is a great way for students and parents to get campus resources directly on their mobile devices, eliminating all of those move-in day flyers.  You can download the App through Google Play or the App store.  


Single Stream Recycling

The University has adopted a standardized policy for single-stream recycling in existing and new buildings. In order for recyclable items to avoid the landfill, the acceptable rate of food residue for all recycling containing food or beverage is less than 0.5%.  For more information on recycling and to download recycling signs for your area, please see our Recycling FAQs.

Campus Battery Recycling

In an effort to streamline and effectively manage the battery recycling program, we are centralizing battery recycling stations to five convenient locations across campus. The five locations are Hammes Mowbray lobby, DeBartolo Hall room 115, ITC Computer Service Office, Rockne Memorial front desk and Main Building first floor recycling center. Detailed instructions on how to properly recycle batteries will be posted at each recycling center. Please see the Risk Management & Safety Universal Waste page or Erin Hafner ehafner@nd.edu for further information.

Specialty Item Recycling

Notre Dame recycles university appliances, and E-Waste including computers, printers and fax machines through ND Surplus. Please call Surplus Services for information on items they accept. Containers labeled for recycling toner cartridges are located in each building and CFL bulbs can be recycled through your building services staff.



The process of furnishing Notre Dame workspaces has been consolidated into a single program called FurnishND. Managed by Warehouse and Delivery Services, the program assists faculty and staff with day-to-day workspace furnishing requests including the acquisition, repair, and removal of workspace furnishings. For all workspace furnishing removal or repair requests, submit an AiM work order at https://assetworks.oit.nd.edu/, selecting surplus pickup as the problem code.  Visit the FurnishND website for additional information.

Game Day Recycling

At each home game, dozens of students circulate through the tailgate lots, distributing blue recycling bags to fans and answering questions about single stream recycling. The Game Day Recycling program also includes permanent recycling containers throughout the tailgate lots and stadium and self-dispensing recycling bag units attached to the lamp posts in the tailgate lots for added convenience. If you would like your student group to work handing out bags, please email the office at green@nd.edu.

Old 2 Gold


Notre Dame’s year-end campus yard sale annually diverts over 76.3 tons of waste from landfills.  
At the end of the school year, students leave behind lots of things they no longer need. In the past, most of it would end up in landfills, but with the introduction of Old2Gold students now are invited to put unwanted items at collection points around campus. Campus Warehouse & Delivery Services collects them and sets up a giant “Yard Sale” which is open to the public. The proceeds from this sale help to support local charities.
In 2018, Old 2 Gold diverted more than 58 tons of waste from the landfill and raised more than $32,000 for the 21 local charities that operated the sale. 1,326 shoppers attended the sale despite it being moved from the stadium to the county 4H grounds due to the Campus Crossroads construction. 


Big Belly 

In 2014 the university installed its first Big Belly solar compactor. Located on Bulla Road in front of the Bulla Parking lot, this solar compactor increases waste capacity to 150 gallons and automatic compaction when it's full allows for five times the capacity of standard bins. 

Composting and Food Waste

The University’s Landscape Services Department composts 100% of all yard waste and distributes it to plantings throughout campus. The Center for Culinary Excellence also works to divert waste from the landfill.