Goal 2: Waste Reduction


Zero Waste Events (ZWE) provide only recyclable and compostable products and discourage the use of goods that must be disposed of as trash. The Office for Sustainability provides a guide for those who want to plan a ZWE!

Picture student tending zero waste event

Other Initiatives:

Picture Cupanion Fill it Forward Program:
Cupanion is a reusable rewards program that aims to reduce waste across grounds. Built into a mobile app that tracks reuse for the University, the Cupanion app distributes rewards for using your own reusable cup or mug in locations across grounds like Starbucks, Greenberry's, and Argo Tea. Simply download the Cupanion app, scan the Cupanion barcodes at locations with your phone when using your reusable at our locations, and watch the rewards add up.
Picture Reusable To-Go Container Program:
Students can sign up for a free reusable to-go container with any residential dining cashier. Return the box after use and Dining washes and sanitizes it with our industrial dishwashers! Hundreds of students use their reusable to-go boxes regularly, keeping thousands of disposable boxes out of the landfill each year.



Composting takes place at various locations around Grounds and during zero waste events and is an important initiative for reaching our landfill diversion goal.

On Grounds Resources:

  • West Range Café and Fine Arts Café – You can find compost bins at both café locations. Bring your compostable clamshell, leftover food, or other compostable items during café hours.
  • International Residence College – Students living in IRC have continual access to a compost bin.
  • Hereford College – Students living in Hereford have continual access to a compost bin.
  • Brown College – Students living in Brown have continual access to a compost bin.
  • Newcomb – CIOs that have completed the Zero Waste Training have access to a compost bin outside of Newcomb. Interested in completing the training? Email sustainability@virginia.edu.
  • In your workplace – Faculty and staff, you can learn more about bringing composting into your workplace by emailing greenworkplace@virginia.edu.

Off Grounds Resources:  

  • Charlottesville City Market – Each Saturday the Charlottesville City Market has compost drop-off stations for those who’d like to participate. They also provide compostable bags free of charge.
  • McIntire Recycling Center – Drop off compostables at McIntire during standard facility hours.
  • Black Bear Composting – Opt into the Black Bear Residential Composting program. They’ll provide a bin or tote (depending on your needs) and will regularly service the compost for a monthly fee.