47% of Cornell's food waste is composted (10,925 tons in 2016)Purchasing and Waste

Materials management means improving the lifecycle impact of our purchasing choices to ensure a healthy planet for people and the environment, and reducing the carbon footprint of our materials.  We are also working to reduce our overall waste, by increasing recycling and composting and more importantly, reducing and reusing.

Materials Management

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

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.


Beyond Waste

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.