Waste Reduction

To minimize our campus waste, Allegheny College implements campus-wide systems to avoid waste production and encourages our community to practice their own personal waste-minimization habits. Not only does this reduce our institutional waste, but it also supports sustainable habits that our graduates practice daily even after they leave our campus.


Our on-campus compost facility processes kitchen waste and compostable dining ware, transforming it into nutrient-rich soil. We broadcast this soil and brew compost tea to spray on our lawns and athletic fields instead of using chemical fertilizers. Compost also fertilizes the organic produce grown in the Carr Hall Garden.

Video: Sustainability @ Allegheny: Compounding Compost

Green Box Program

Reusable boxes replace single-use, compostable containers in our dining halls, resulting in significant waste reduction and cost savings. The program is designed to be simple and accessible to all students. There is no cost to participate. Dirty boxes can be returned to an automated return system, cleaning and disinfecting are offered by our dining service provider, and clean boxes are readily available at each point of food service.

Reuse Incentives

In order to encourage a culture of reuse, all first-year students receive their choice of a stainless steel water bottle or travel mug during move-in, and Parkhurst Dining offers steep discounts on refills of any type of beverage. We also #SporkTheQuad to encourage the campus community to carry their reusable utensil with them at all times to avoid single-use, compostable plastic utensils.

Filtered Refill Stations

Dozens of water fountains throughout campus feature bottle refill stations so students and employees can access free, cold, filtered water as a convenient and sustainable option to purchasing water bottled in plastic. Ongoing student and faculty research in the Environmental Science and Sustainability Department continues to help us understand impacts and how to change habits around single-use bottled beverage purchases.

Green Move Out

The Gators Give Back Rummage Sale annually captures approximately 1,500 cubic feet, or 5.25 tons, of items worthy of resale that would have otherwise gone to a landfill. The annual sale offers usable items to community members at low prices, donates any excess items to various service organizations after the sale, and helps fund an international service-learning course focused on poverty and health issues in a Mayan community in Belize.

Trashion Show

The Students for Environmental Action annually organize the Trashion Show, a catwalk display of inspired fashions featuring creative reuse and reimagining of trash items.

Read: From Junk to Funk


Students organize clothes swap events and develop online businesses and apps to support the secondhand market. The IDEAS Center offers coats, boots, and toiletries in their Mutual Aid Closet, particularly geared for students who are underprepared for Meadville’s winter.


We’ve reduced paper consumption by 30 percent through a combination of tactics, including default print settings, print management software, and an online platform to allow professors and students to exchange resources and assignments digitally.

What Can You Do?

  • Refuse Single Use/Reuse
  • Reduce – Shop Smart
  • Recycle
  • Carry a Zero-Waste Kit
  • Sell/Share/Donate
  • Shop Secondhand
  • Shop in Bulk Downtown
Read About More You Can Do