Materials Management 47% of Cornell's food waste is composted (10,925 tons in 2016)

Cornell University’s R5 Operations – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink, Respect – manages the Ithaca campus' non-hazardous waste and recycling system. R5's overarching goals involve reducing overall waste, increasing the campus waste diversion rate, and ensuring regulatory support.

Every day, Cornell ensures clean, healthy surroundings for our community to thrive in while protecting the planet, our prosperity, and academic purpose. From food to electronics to energy, Cornell is working hard to keep reducing until we hit and maintain carbon neutrality.

Learn more about:

Recycling, compost and landfill bins at the 2014 Zero Landfill Game.

Reduce Your Waste Impact

Calculate your current resource use and browse tips to reduce your waste impact.

Three student compost managers with Kermit the frog

Reuse & Recycling

Cornell cuts waste to an absolute minimum by reusing and recycling. How low can you go?

Student recycling computers

Electronic Waste

Shop or drop electronics the sustainable way. 

Compost bins

Food Waste

The U.S. issues the highest amount of food waste per county. At Cornell, many steps are taken to reduce food waste.

Big Red Bear in front of Cornell Store

Sustainable Purchasing

Need to make purchasing decisions for your department or workspace? Cornell makes finding sustainable products easy with e-SHOP.

Recyclemania logo


During the nationwide RecycleMania competition, join the entire Cornell community in (re)learning how to reduce personal waste and improve our waste sorting skills.

Composting at an event

Green Your Event

Learn how to make your events and programs more sustainable.

Level 4 Green Office awardees

Green Your Space

The tools to help strengthen space efficiency and sustainability.