“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.

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. In 2018, we raised $36,000 for these three non-profits.

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 created by Sustainability Assistant Rebecca Muhlheim ’21 for more info.

Free & For Sale Frenzy

The Free and For Sale Frenzy is a pop-up consignment shop organized and put on by the Sustainability Assistants. Once a term, students are invited to drop off clothing they would like to sell, tag it with a price and their venmo account, and the Sustainability Assistants do the rest! All clothing is hung or displayed for a formal sale that occurs after the drop-off period ends. Anyone can shop, they simply check out by showing a volunteer that they have paid the other student via venmo.

The goal of the Free and For Sale Frenzy is to promote responsible consumption of goods. Please see the Project Guide for more information on how to host your own event. The Free and For Sale Frenzy occurs every 8th Sunday of each term. Interested in putting on your own Frenzy? This guide can help!

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

Campus Surplus

Per the disposal policy for the College, we try to reuse items on campus as much as possible. When an item is no longer needed by the College, we use GovDeals as an online auction site to sell any unwanted surplus. The funds from these sales goes to waste reduction efforts across campus.

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

Each year, the Sustainability Office 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.