Skip to main content

Waste Reduction

Established in 2011, U-M’s 2025 Ann Arbor campus waste reduction goal focuses on pursuing purchasing, reuse, recycling and composting strategies toward long-term waste eradication.

2025 Goal

Reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills by 40 percent below 2006 levels.


10% reduction in waste sent to landfills

Zero Waste Stadium

Zero Waste Campus Events

Members of the U-M community can help reduce waste by hosting a zero waste event, where at least 90 percent of waste is diverted from the landfill via waste prevention, recycling and composting. The Office of Campus Sustainability provides guidance and compost collection service to students, faculty and staff to make their campus events zero waste.

Other Highlights

Composting expansion

Compost service continues to expand across U-M and a growing number of events are zero waste. There are now over 1,100 compost bins on campus—including all residence halls and all 22 on-campus cafes. In addition, over 600 staff kitchens are composting.

Waste reduction on the medical campus

In 2023, U-M Health launched a new reusable sharps container program estimated to eliminate more than 100,000 disposable containers and 258,000 pounds of plastic waste per year. They also started a new medical plastics recycling program in the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital operating rooms, with plans to expand to other buildings.

Diversion rate improves

Since 2006, when the goals were established, U-M building square footage has increased by more than 9 million square feet, offsetting overall waste reduction. Yet the university has increased its diversion rate (the percent of waste diverted from the landfill by recycling or composting) from 29% in FY16 to 37% in FY23.

For more information about U-M’s sustainability goals, visit the Office of Campus Sustainability.