Blog Post

RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) hosted the 2020 College & University Forum as a webinar on April 16. The webinar provided college & university professionals with a chance to discuss waste-related challenges during disrupted operations, as well as opportunities to make program improvements in anticipation of students returning to campus.

Click on the photo to view the presentations and listen to a recording of the webinar.

Welcome and Updates

Click on each presenter’s name to view their presentation slides.

  • John Fischer, Deputy Division Director for Solid Waste Materials Management at MassDEP, provided updates on MassDEP guidance for COVID-19 and the status of the 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan. Fischer discussed how the plan, which is in the final stages of review, includes proposed waste bans of mattresses and textiles, in addition to reducing the commercial organics waste ban threshold from one ton to half a ton per week. The Reduce & Reuse Workgroup, another priority in the Master Plan, provides an opportunity for Massachusetts stakeholders to contribute input on strategies that promote source reduction, reuse, and repair.
  • Morgan Laner, representing RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts, discussed the services available through the RecyclingWorks program, such as free technical assistance for businesses and institutions, a new key resources page, and a sector guidance page with new resources and case study videos for college and universities. She also previewed a few resources currently in development, such as a new mattress recycling page, a special events tip sheet, and a property manager waste ban compliance tip sheet.

Presentation on Waste-Related Challenges and Solutions During Disrupted Operations

  • Mary Fischer, Sustainability Manager at Brandeis University, introduced the university’s waste program and other sustainability initiatives on campus. Brandeis has a robust training program for staff, and uses a variety of strategies to communicate with students about their waste programs including new student orientation, entertaining memes, and a green certification program for clubs and offices. Fischer also described how the university dealt with challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic including an accelerated move-out program and lack of consistent custodial coverage. Brandeis also has plans for improving the campus waste program while students are off campus such as updating their waste signage and designing a new pre-orientation program for students.

Visit the RecyclingWorks College & University Forum webpage to view all of the College & University Forum presentations and a full recording of the webinar.

RecyclingWorks is currently offering remote technical assistance, including virtual site visits, evaluating bin placement and hauler contracts, customizing waste bin signage, reviewing training and educational materials, and providing  presentations to custodial or food service staff. Call the RecyclingWorks hotline, (888) 254-5525, or email us at to get started.