Living on Campus? Here’s How To Reduce Waste

The following post is written by Alec Pedigo, a student majoring in Science, Technology, & Society. Alec is currently an intern with the NC State Waste Reduction and Recycling Office.

NC State has taken big steps to reduce and manage the amount of waste from campus that goes to landfills. Did you know that students living on campus can help out by managing their own room waste, too?

All campus residence halls and apartments come with a recycling bin. This is a great first step toward reducing campus waste. The NC State Waste Reduction and Recycling website has great guide for ensuring you are putting the right recyclable items into blue bins. One of the most important tips: disposable plastic cups and plastic bags can’t be recycled in blue recycling dumpsters.

Students living on campus can also reduce waste even further by composting.

Several residence halls and apartments give out compost bins for students to use in their rooms. Recently, 240 personal compost pails were given to students living in Tower and Plaza Hall at Wolf Ridge and Arctic and Hudson Hall at Wolf Village. The EcoVillage Learning & Living Village at Bragaw Residence Hall is the first residence hall on campus to provide collection jars for students’ use back in 2016. They have since expanded compost collections to bathrooms. 

“Many suites have reusable bags that they put under the paper towel dispensers so they can put their paper towels in the bag and then put that in the composting bin, instead of throwing away all the paper towels,” said EcoVillage mentor Allison Abel. 

These paper towel composting supplies are available to all students living on campus from the Zero Waste Wolves student organization. 

If you don’t have a campus-supplied compost bin for your room or apartment, you create one through an easy reuse hack. All you need is a large container with a lid, such as a mason jar or coffee canister. The important part is to know what can (and cannot) be composted in order to avoid contamination (use this composting guide).  Fill your jar and empty it into the green Pizza Box Composting dumpsters located outside the following residence halls:

  • Avent Ferry Complex
  • Becton Hall
  • Bragaw Hall North
  • Bragaw Hall South
  • ES King Beaufort Hall
  • ES King Edgecombe Hall
  • ES King Granville Hall
  • Metcalf Hall
  • Western Manor Central
  • Western Manor P/Q
  • Wolf Ridge Plaza Hall
  • Wolf Village Arctic Hall
  • Wood Hall

Remember, all students living on campus can access any of the above compost dumpsters. For more information on recycling and composting on campus, visit