Skip to main content

Reduce Waste

Our Goal: Vanderbilt will power its campus entirely through renewable energy and commits to carbon neutrality by 2050.


The Zero Waste Study, currently underway by a diverse group of campus stakeholders including students, has been charged with developing a plan to reduce consumption and landfill waste across campus.

Priorities include:

Food Waste

Through collaboration with Campus Dining, the university has already implemented food waste collection for composting at all major Dining facilities and will be expanding this program throughout campus over the next few years. Additionally, Campus Dining is employing software and practices to reduce waste by avoiding overbuying and unwanted food donation programs.

Eliminating Plastic

Eliminating single-use plastic water bottles across markets and dining facilities across campus will be a significant step in reducing waste. The university installed rapid water bottle filler stations in key locations across campus with efforts underway to install more. See a map of the rapid water bottle filler stations here.

Sustainable Procurement Practices

Purchasing products made of sustainable materials and with recycled content will be prioritized at Vanderbilt, as well as reducing consumption of materials such as single-use disposable products, paper and cardboard.

Landfill Waste Reduction

While difficult to eliminate 100 percent of landfill waste, the Zero Waste Working Group will make recommendations for waste diversion, waste reduction, food waste reduction, and single-use disposable plastic elimination goals, significantly reducing the university’s waste.

Learn more about our goal »