“A lot of people like lollipops. I don’t like lollipops. To me, a lollipop is hard candy plus garbage. I don’t need a handle. Just give me the candy.”

– Demetri Martin

Waste is generated all over campus. Watch this video to make sure you place your waste in the correct bin, and explore the links below for more information on waste at Carleton.

Office Supply Swap Shop

The Office Supply Swap Shop is located in the Sustainability Office which is in the Facilities Building. It is open from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. Carleton employees can either drop off or pick up office supplies, in an effort to avoid purchasing new products while sending still-usable items to the landfill. The shelves are stocked with binders of every size and color, desk organizers, envelopes, paper clips, binder clips, bookends, hanging folders, file folders, staplers, hole punchers, tape dispensers, sheet protectors, envelopes, whiteboard markers and erasers, and more. You never know what you’ll find, stop on by and get inspired!

Campus Surplus Disposal

Per Carleton’s Campus Disposal Policy, we try to reuse or repurpose items on campus before we resort to sending them to the landfill. When campus assets are no longer needed, we use GovDeals as an online auction site to sell any unwanted surplus. This includes all types of items ranging from vehicles to exercise, kitchen and lab equipment, to shelving and more. Funds from Carleton’s GovDeals sales goes to waste reduction efforts across campus. Contact the Business Office to find out who is the campus GovDeals contact for your department.

Compostables Store

The Compostables Store was a direct response from campus departments who wanted to avoid plastic or styrofoam but couldn’t justify the cost of compostable cutlery and dinnerware. In partnership with the Custodial Department, we purchase items by the case from our vendors and pass the savings down to each department. Fill out this form to place and order. Contact wastebusters@carleton.edu if you would like to order by the case.

Compostables Order Form

Green2Go Reusable To-Go Food Containers

The Sustainability Office and Bon Appétit launched Green2Go, a reusable to-go container pilot program, for Spring Term 2020 in Sayles Café with the hopes of reducing single-use compostable clamshells. Originally planned for a pilot program of 100 students and 25 faculty/staff, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a change to the program. It was decided to use the containers for all who requested them during the latter half of Spring Term 2020 as few people were on campus at the time. For more information about the program, please visit the Green2Go Frequently Asked Questions Page.

Custodial Waste Busters

Formed in the fall of 2011, the Custodial Waste Busters is a group of custodians that meets throughout the year to discuss and work to improve Carleton’s waste system. Representing every building on campus, this group of custodians has been instrumental in identifying problems and developing solutions to the disposal of waste at Carleton.

Past projects have included…

  • Implementation of the Carleton Community Waste Program
  • Raising awareness about the Lighten Up Garage Sale
  • Waste data collection leading to a reduction in exterior totes
  • Educational outreach and waste monitoring at events such as graduation picnics and zero-waste basketball games

Browse more of the Custodial Department’s sustainability achievements.

Lighten Up Garage Sale

Each year, Carleton’s Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE) partners with three local non-profit organizations — Project Friendship, Northfield Special Olympics, and the Northfield Union of Youth (“The Key”) — to organize the annual Lighten Up Garage Sale. This event raises thousands of dollars.

At the end of each academic year, sites are set up across campus to collect unwanted items from students as they prepare to move out of the residence halls. A staggering number of items are collected each year. Although the sale provides a way to reuse these items instead of sending them to the landfill, it is also a sobering reminder of how much we consume.

Carleton encourages new and returning students to carefully consider what they truly need and to avoid buying or bringing extra items to campus. See this move-in guide.

Trash Talking

With funds from GovDeals surplus sales, the Sustainability Office donates money to student organizations in exchange for their time volunteering at athletic and other large scale events to help attendees properly sort their trash.

Repair Fair

The Sustainability Office often hosts the Repair Fair- a community event that pairs broken items with volunteer fixers. Attendees learn a new skill in repairing items so they don’t end up in the landfill! This presentation was given in April 2020 by Sustainability Assistant Emma Leither ’20 and Becca Horwitz ’22 for how we run our program.