Cover of Examination of US University Sustainability and Recovery Activities report

April 12, 2021, Ann Arbor, Mich. – RRS announced the release of the Examination of US University Sustainability and Recovery Activities report, providing an overview of recycling, organics recovery, and sustainability activities on US university and college campuses.

RRS conducted the independent study via online research of 312 universities and colleges in the US, approximately 11%, categorizing the findings by region and student enrollment size.

Key findings include:

  • 63% of schools sampled have an established recycling program on campus.
  • 33% of schools sampled have some type of composting available on campus, however they varied in type of accepted materials.
  • Of the schools sampled, the average recycling rate was 24%; the diversion rate, which included recycling and composting, was approximately 45%.

“Higher education institutions are centers of innovation and can be proving grounds for new ideas,” said Kelly Domino, consultant with RRS and the report’s lead author. “We wanted to see how these mini-cities were making progress on the sustainability and material management front. Plus, this report provides peer schools with information they can use to benchmark their own programs.”

The report is available for free download on the RRS website at:

Special note: RRS conducted online research into universities and colleges across the U.S. prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent restrictions placed on businesses and educational institutions. The data in this report is reflective of educational institutions’ sustainability and recovery activities prior to the pandemic and does not include the impact of COVID-19 on those activities.



Media Contact: Melissa Radiwon, Marketing Director, RRS,, 734.996.1361 ext. 117


Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, RRS is a sustainability and recycling consulting firm that strives to create a world where resources are managed to maximize economic and social benefit while minimizing environmental harm. The firm has industry professionals, engineers, economists, technical analysts, and communication specialists who share this vision and possess core strengths in materials and recovery, life cycle management, applied sustainable design, and collaborative action development.