Presentation Title

UVM's Roadmap to Zero Waste

Project Collaborators

Corey Berman (Collaborating Mentor), Caylin McCamp (Collaborating Mentor), Gioia Thompson (Collaborating Mentor), Alex Freid (PLAN Consultant)

Abstract

This thesis seeks to provide effective strategies for enhancing Zero Waste management goals at the University of Vermont by incorporating the needs of campus stakeholders. Using a systems approach, it takes the current Zero Waste draft plan to the next level by incorporating input on distinctive functions of a Zero Waste campus specific to the internal operations of different departments. Research collection involved in-person interviews with staff from 16 different campus departments: Environmental Health and Safety, Purchasing Services, Custodial Services, Dining, Facilities Design and Construction, two academic departments, the Print and Mail Center, the Fleming Museum, the Office of Transportation, the Bookstore, the Athletics department, the Library, the Campus Children’s school, the College of Medicine, the Physical Plant, and the Grounds Department. The purpose of the semi- structured qualitative interviews comprised an understanding of the department’s internal operations, a connection between the department’s mission and their waste streams, and the best approach to incorporating the department’s mission into the Zero Waste plan.

Using data from the interviews, the thesis outlines a set of waste mitigation recommendations and strategies for each campus department to incorporate into their management policies. It also identifies several general gaps in relation to the mitigation of upstream and downstream waste. The report takes into consideration the specific needs of the departments while recognizing that many of them deal with similar waste mitigation challenges.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Laurie Kutner

Secondary Mentor NetID

cberman

Secondary Mentor Name

Corey Berman

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Environmental Studies

Primary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

Second College (optional)

Honors College

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UVM's Roadmap to Zero Waste

This thesis seeks to provide effective strategies for enhancing Zero Waste management goals at the University of Vermont by incorporating the needs of campus stakeholders. Using a systems approach, it takes the current Zero Waste draft plan to the next level by incorporating input on distinctive functions of a Zero Waste campus specific to the internal operations of different departments. Research collection involved in-person interviews with staff from 16 different campus departments: Environmental Health and Safety, Purchasing Services, Custodial Services, Dining, Facilities Design and Construction, two academic departments, the Print and Mail Center, the Fleming Museum, the Office of Transportation, the Bookstore, the Athletics department, the Library, the Campus Children’s school, the College of Medicine, the Physical Plant, and the Grounds Department. The purpose of the semi- structured qualitative interviews comprised an understanding of the department’s internal operations, a connection between the department’s mission and their waste streams, and the best approach to incorporating the department’s mission into the Zero Waste plan.

Using data from the interviews, the thesis outlines a set of waste mitigation recommendations and strategies for each campus department to incorporate into their management policies. It also identifies several general gaps in relation to the mitigation of upstream and downstream waste. The report takes into consideration the specific needs of the departments while recognizing that many of them deal with similar waste mitigation challenges.