Case Study: University of Washington-Seattle

n 2011, the University of Washington–Seattle was exploring alternative waste and recycling platforms for their campus, with Emily Newcomer, the University’s Recycling Program Manager, leading the initiative. Newcomer was seeking a solution that was easy to service, created less litter, saved staff time, and helped divert recycling and compostables. These criteria led them to BigBelly Solar.


Today marks the launch of our new pilot program in Suzzallo Cafe in partnership with WOOF, a group of UW engineers working on 3D printing using recycled plastics.  This program will re-capture used compostable plastic utensils from Suzzallo and divert these materials to WOOF for use in 3D printing.  The program itself is designed to scale up to WOOF's needs, and we're ready to expand into other high-traffic cafes (like the UW Tower) if this initial phase is successful.

UW out-recycles its Pac-12 competitors

The UW’s Seattle campus handily defeated several Pac-12 universities in RecycleMania 2013, thanks to a game plan devised by Housing and Food Services, Students Expressing Environmental Dedication (SEED), and UW Recycling.

Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, the eight-week competition pitted United States and Canadian universities and colleges against each other to see who claims top honors in waste reduction. The UW competed in the Grand Champion, Per Capital Classic, Gorilla Price, and Food Service Organics categories.


June 5, 2013

American conservation efforts began in earnest during the 1970s when the phrase “Reduce, Reuse & Recycle” was first introduced.  A fact often neglected is that the slogan was actually designed as a waste hierarchy of classified management options in order of their environmental impact, created at a time when environmentalists were raising concerns about the basic practices of waste management based on our previous disposal mentality.  Reduce first, Reuse second, and Recycle third.  The concept is parallel to the concept of ‘prevention is better than the cure’ in the medical field and pr