"We do not inherit the earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children."
      —Chief Seattle

University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Recycling Policy

The Office of Waste Management (OWM) has created a comprehensive and effective recycling program that serves as a national model among institutions of higher education.

The recycling efforts of University staff, faculty, and students annually conserve 45,000 gallons of oil, save 20,000 trees and help UMass to avoid $275,000 annually in disposal charges. These are just some of the environmental and resource conservation benefits associated with UMass' 56% recycling rate.

In fiscal year 2006 we recycled:
Paper books and cardboard: 1,084 tons
Bottles and cans: 128 tons
Organic wastes: 1,898 tons
Special wastes: 1,517 tons
Total tons recycled or
processed for energy recovery:

Still, more opportunities remain to reduce, re-use, and recycle University wastes that are now destined for the landfill. State and local environmental regulations prohibit the disposal of recyclable material in landfills and incinerators. The University must comply with these regulations or face possible fines and load rejections. Local disposal facilities may assess fines against waste loads containing greater than 5% recyclable material.

It is the obligation of every member of the campus community to do their part by helping the University increase its recycling rate and reduce waste - including unnecessary fines and disposal fees.

University faculty, students, and staff are expected to cooperate with this program by separating recyclable materials from trash and sorting these materials into our color-coded recycling bins. The Physical Plant's Office of Waste Management will continue to support this effort by issuing recycling guidelines and providing up-to-date information and assistance to the campus community.

In order to promote viable markets for recyclable materials collected at the University and within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a whole, the Chancellor urges all staff members with purchasing authority to maximize procurement of equipment and supplies containing post-consumer recycled materials where performance, quality and durability are equal to equivalent products made from virgin materials. For answers to questions about recycling, waste reduction, and "buy recycled" opportunities, see the OWM web site at

Please help make UMass Amherst the Commonwealth's leader in protection of the environment!

© 2006 University of Massachusetts Amherst.
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This site is maintained by the
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Progress Toward Recycling Goals: Mass Stats and Analysis, 2008


Quick Facts and
Program Highlights

Recycling Rate: 56%
Revenue from recyclables sales and community services: $189,000
Avoided landfill disposal fees: $288,354
Community recyclables managed: 4,369 Tons
Total tons managed:

7,828 Tons


Data Resources:

Waste Management Report Fiscal Year 2006 (PDF)

Waste Management Report Fiscal Year 2008 (PDF)

Waste Management Report Fiscal Year 2012 (PDF)

Dollars & Tons Report 1991-2006 (PDF)