This page includes sustainability progress and goals data from a prior year. Click here for current progress and goals updates.

2017 Sustainability Progress Report
Goal Progress

Waste Prevention

U-M’s waste prevention goal focuses on pursuing purchasing, reuse, recycling and composting strategies toward long-term waste eradication.

  • 1.4K Tons Composted in 2017
  • 34% of waste diverted

2025 Goal

Reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills by 40 percent below 2006 levels.


3% reduction in waste sent to landfills

Since 2006, our building area has increased nearly 28.6% and the campus population has increased nearly 17%. A $100 million investment was made to accelerate our progress in waste reduction, greenhouse gas reduction and campus sustainability culture.

Zero-waste campus events

Members of the U-M community helped reduce waste generated on campus by hosting a zero-waste event. The Office of Campus sustainability provides guidance and assistance to students, faculty and staff for creating a zero-waste event, where 90 percent of waste is diverted from the landfill through recycling and composting. U-M composted 615 tons of food waste in fiscal year 2017.

Reducing waste at Michigan Medicine

Michigan Medicine is gearing up to launch the Blue Wrap Recycling Program, a pilot program focused on reducing hospital waste sent to the landfill through the recycling of unique medical plastics. The program is tentatively set to begin in March at the Frankel Cardiovascular Center. In addition, pre-consumer composting within the University Hospital has diverted an estimated 190 pounds per week from the landfill.

Other 2017 Highlights

U-M is installing standardized waste bins, signs, and labels across campus to make it easier to reduce, recycle, and compost. By December 2017, 149 buildings had been standardized with approximately 3,500 new bins and 500 retrofitted bins.
University Hospital just underwent a bed replacement project, replacing approximately 650 adult beds throughout the hospital. Rather than discard the old beds, the project team worked with an organization that repurposes medical equipment for use in developing countries.
As of December 2017, 30 buildings have ongoing compost collection service. A successful pilot of breakroom composting in Fleming Building diverted about 30 percent of the material that was being sent to landfill. The Office of Campus Sustainability also directly supported 125 one-off zero waste events, hosted by various departments.