Zero Waste

Arizona State University commits to minimizing waste through diversion and aversion. ASU reduces water waste by the use of more efficient fixtures, better water management, and distribution of effluent water for use by mechanical and irrigation systems. Solid waste is diverted from the landfill through recycling, repurposing, reusing, and composting. Waste is averted through reduced consumption.


Sun Devils can recycle plastic, aluminum, paper, and cardboard on all four campuses. Check your campus's recycling page for additional recyclable items.


ASU is developing a university-wide composting program. Currently, landscape trimmings are composted through a partnership with a local farmer, diverting an average of 140 tons of landscaping waste from the landfill each year. ASU uses the compost as fertilizer on campus grounds. The Green Bin program at Tempe campus will soon allow all campuses to compost food and compostable food-service items at dining halls.

Exchanging Surplus Items

Sun Devils Surplus Exchange and Transfer (SunSET) is a university-wide "classified ad" system for exchanging ASU property. Through SunSET, ASU departments can re-use office supplies, lab supplies, some types of furniture, and other un-needed items.

Selling or Recycling Surplus Items

Surplus Property harvests and sells metal from retired ASU property, recycles cardboard and paper that cannot be reused, and generally does all it can to reduce waste and increase revenue.

Reducing Junk Mail

ASU Mail Services has partnered with Ecological Mail Coalition to help reduce each department's junk mail. Ecological Mail can help decrease the volume of catalogs, magazines or other advertising mail for employees who are no longer in a department.

Ditch the Dumpster

Ditch the Dumpster gives students a way to recycle, reuse, or repurpose their leftovers during the year-end rush to move out of residence halls. The annual event benefits local charities.

Paint Reuse Program

ASU filters and stirs together odd lots of old paint for reuse on small projects around the campus and the community, in the process eliminating a hazardous waste.

Landscaping Water Conservation

ASU's campus is Arizona's largest public arboretum, dedicated in 1990 and committed to proper water management and conservation while educating visitors about the complex ecological systems on earth. Facilities Management has instituted several practices designed to reduce the amount of water used in landscaping on campus. About two-thirds of campus is watered at night to prevent evaporation. An initiative is also underway to automate the remaining systems so that the different plants on campus receive water based on both current weather conditions and a given plant´s evapotranspiration rate. Existing flood irrigation infrastructure has been preserved for future use with a gray water system when practicable.

Low-flow Fixtures

ASU has reduced water consumption in many buildings around campus through the installation of low-flow water fixtures such as sinks, showers, toilets, and in some buildings, waterless urinals. On average, these efficient appliances use approximately 30 percent less water than their conventional counterparts.

Water Filtration Stations

Filtration stations located in ASU residence halls allow students to refill both one-gallon and five-gallon jugs with fresh water, saving them money and reducing waste.


Sun Devil Dining is committed to making environmentally responsible decisions across its operations, minimizing environmental impact while providing quality food and service.


The University Club focuses on creating a sustainable environment through its food selections, waste conservation, and more. Atlasta Catering is the official caterer of the University Club.

Campus Harvest

Campus Harvest engages the ASU community in planting and harvesting food from ASU’s extensive urban campus to provide fresh, local produce for campus kitchens, for charity, and for sale.

Community Supported Agriculture

CSA partner Crooked Sky Farms provides fresh, local, organic produce to community members at ASU’s Polytechnic and West campuses. Students, staff, faculty, and others purchase shares of high-quality, local produce, providing financial security to a local farm.

Community Garden

Arizona State University at the Polytechnic campus has created a community garden, the first of several planned for all campuses. The garden encourages students to learn about permaculture and sustainable food practices, creates a sense of community, and transforms an underutilized area to one that is more vital and engaging.

Green Building Standards

Following a 2005 order by the governor of Arizona, ASU now requires, to the fullest extent practicable, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for all new construction of university-owned and operated buildings.

Recently Completed Buildings

Review a portfolio of LEED buildings at ASU, both current and pending, along with all other recently completed buildings on the Downtown, Polytechnic, Tempe, and West campuses.

Campus Metabolism

Campus Metabolism™ provides an interactive web tool that enables users to examine real-time energy and water use on campus — by individual building, building type, or the entire campus.

Sustainability Toolbox for "Green" Offices and Events

The Sustainability Toolbox is an online collection of strategies and resources for ASU departments interested in sponsoring "green" offices and hosting sustainable events.