Waste Reduction and Disposal

Bowdoin continues to develop ways to reduce all categories of waste on campus and prioritizes efforts for reuse, recycling, and composting.

agri-cycle-compost.jpegComposting & Food Waste

Bowdoin has made a significant effort to decrease its food waste and increase composting options for students and campus operations over the years. Both of our dining halls use accurate menu forecasting from sophisticated food management software to match food production to usage. If over-production occurs, Dining works with students on an efficient delivery system to appropriate leftovers to local non-profit organizations. Pre-and post-consumer food waste from dining is collected for compost by Agri-Cycle and 100% of the take-out packaging in Dining's retail operations is compostable. Agri-Cycle also makes weekly collection stops at numerous locations around campus outside of residence halls to collect food waste. All food scraps collected by Agri-Cycle are sustainably managed either at a licensed anaerobic digestion or composting facility and never go to landfills or incinerators. The food waste processed at the Exeter Agri-Energy anaerobic digestion facility and at other farm-based partner facilities are converted to renewable energy. Biproducts from this process are used as animal bedding and soil amendments. In addition, each of the College Houses has a residential Green Cone on their property. Green Cones cover a 3-5 foot hole in the ground allowing bugs, worms, and natural decomposition to turn food directly into the soil. 

Zero-Sort Recycling

At Bowdoin, we use a Zero-Sort recycling program where you can put your recyclables into ONE bin rather than having to sort them yourself. For a quick reference, take a look at our Zero-Sort Guide or check out our Zero-Sort Recycling FAQs.

office-supply-reuse-shop.jpegOffice Supply Reuse Shop and Re-used Furniture Warehouse

The Office Supply Reuse Shop is designed for staff and faculty to donate and reuse office supplies that are in great condition. Additionally, the off site warehouse stores office/mischellaneous furnishings for re-use by Bowdoin faculty and staff in College owned property. As the Office Supply Reuse Shop and Furniture Warehouse fill up, surplus items are donted to local non-profits that help provide school supplies and furniture to teachers. By utilizing the reuse shop and furniture warehouse, employees make use of items that already exist and help limit items that end up in the landfill. Visit the Office Supply Reuse Shop for more information. 

give-and-go.jpgGive & Go and Freecycle

At the end of every academic year, departing students donate a variety of unwanted dorm and school supplies that are in good condition through our annual "Give and Go" program. Items collected vary from unopened food and electronics to furniture and clothing and are redistributed for reuse and diverted from going to the landfill. Items are donated to Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, Mid Coast Hunger Prevention, or set aside to be redistributed to Bowdoin students for the annual Freecycle program. Freecycle runs during the summer months and start of the academic year and encourages incoming and returning Bowdoin students to use recycled supplies at no cost instead of purchasing new ones during move-in.

Electronics Recycling Event

The Sustainability Office runs an annual one day e-waste recycling event aimed at collecting and properly recycling personal electronics from all faculty and staff. Typically held each spring semester, participation is roughly 90 employees from dozens of departments across the college.