Waste and Recycling Fellows

Stipend : 3 Credits

The Sustainable UMass team is in the midst of several exciting projects and is constantly working to expand and improve its efforts.  One area of significant importance is waste reduction and recycling. UMass and has had an extraordinary recycling program since the 1970’s and has added a successful composting program to its list of accomplishments. The Sustainability Waste and Recycling Fellow will work to increase the campus community’s utilization of the recycling and composting programs that exist at the university.


  • Single Stream Recycling: Though UMass has an outstanding recycling program, the recycling rates have remained consistently static for years. This fellow will help spread awareness that the campus has switched to single stream recycling and conduct a campus audit to ensure that all buildings have the proper bins, labels, and signage.
  • Waste Reduction Awareness Projects: One of the overarching goals of the Sustainability Initiative is to raise awareness on campus. These projects are most effective through demonstrations and this fellow will research and plan projects that involve educating the UMass community. For example, a trash sort is a great way to show people how much can be recycled while also diverting said recyclables from the waste stream. These projects also involve researching aspects of waste reduction that can use improvement on campus and working on projects in those areas (ie. recycling electronic waste)
  • Composting: Currently, all of the Dining Commons compost as well as many student businesses and campus eateries. This fellow will work with Auxiliary Services Sustainability staff and the Food Fellow to increase the use and knowledge of current composting receptacles as well as expand composting to other campus eateries.
  • Electronic Waste: This fellow will assist in building and implementing an electronic waste recycling structure prototype for the Residence Halls so that students will have the opportunity to properly recycle batteries, light bulbs, small electronics, etc. with ease.
  • Waste and Procurement Subcommittee: Finally, this fellow will attend the Chancellor’s Sustainability Waste Subcommittee meetings in order to complete their tasks most effectively.


  • Strong interpersonal and writing skills
  • Confidence in working under pressure with short timelines
  • Comfort working with a variety of constituents (i.e. students, staff, administrators, colleges)
  • Ability to formulate new ideas based on current programs and campus needs
  • Knowledge of recycling practices is strongly suggested, but not required
  • Passionate about sustainability


Liz Pongratz
Student Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability UMass