One of the College’s sustainability goals is achieving Zero Waste by 2020.

Macalester has adopted the definition prescribed by the International Zero Waste Alliance to reach this goal.  With their updated definition, Macalester will be considered Zero Waste when we regularly divert 90% of our total waste from a landfill or incinerator.

Year-Round Zero Waste ProgramsCompost2.jpg

  • Waste Sorting at Macalester
  • Bring your own coffee mug to a Bon Appétit location for a discount.
  • Composting at Macalester 
  • Eco-friendly To-Go Containers are available from Bon Appétit.  Reusable dishware is available, by request, at the Grille for those who choose to eat-in. Bring your own coffee mug for a discount.
  • Use the Zero Waste Event Planning Guide to make your next event Zero Waste.
  • Mac Free Swap is a reuse and trading program launched in 2009. Use the drop off site in Kagin Commons for small items only.
  • Recycling at Macalester
  • Food Waste from Cafe Mac has been free-range pig feed for Barthold Farms since February 2009. Students Natalie Locke and Abe Levine researched and implemented this effort.
  • The Zero Waste Committee includes students, faculty and staff from Facilities Services, the Sustainability Office, Environmental Studies, Purchasing, Residential Life, and Campus Activities and Operations.

Zero Waste Move OutCompostbin.jpg

In response to the traditionally overwhelming amount of waste generated when students move out the dormitories, a new collaborative program was set up by the Zero Waste Committee to prevent things from ending up in a landfill as a result of the end of the year.

In earlier efforts to reduce move-out waste, the diversion rate went from 17% in 2008 to an impressive 46% in 2009.

The college partners with third parties like the Network for Better Futures and Goodwill to sort and weigh the materials.

Plan Your Move Out

  • Habitat for Humanity and Alternative Spring Break student organizations collect items in good condition to be sold as a fundraiser at the Fall Garage Sale. Collection boxes will be in the front lobbies or main lounges of your residence halls in advance of move out.
  • Bon Appetit facilitates an amnesty box for wares borrowed from Cafe Mac.  As with any loss of inventory, losing wares from Cafe Mac ultimately increases everyone’s cost to use the service.
  • Re-used boxes will be made available for reuse during move out. These boxes can be found in the basement of the campus center before move out.
  • We encourage you to donate any working electronics to the Habitat for Humanity drive. Non-working electronics should be recycled through an e-waste collection bin.
  • Bins are removed from the dorms in advance of move-out so materials are sorted properly.