Recycling, Composting and Waste

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle are referred to as the three Rs for waste management. The three Rs help to cut down on waste, conserve our resources and help extend the life of our landfills.

UAF does not have a landfill, and so it utilizes the landfill of the North Star Borough. Each time a load of waste is dropped off, a tipping fee is charged. It makes both economic and environmental sense to reduce waste.

UAF is doing many things to reduce, reuse and recyle. A campuswide mixed paper and cardboard recycling program started on September 30, 2010. UAF is no longer talking about waste stream; we are talking about resource stream.

Please visit our additional pages about what you can recycle and other recycling FAQs.


Helpful Links

With its many efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle, UAF is no longer talking about a waste stream, but a resource stream.

two men carry a plastic bin of compostable material
UAF photo by Molly Dischner.

UAF resources:


Other recycling resources:

  • Earthworm Digest, "The #1 earthworm information website in the world..." with articles, tutorials, forums and links.

What is UAF doing?

  • Student governance group ASUAF is leading an effort to recycle a broad range of items including batteries, cell phones, printer cartridges and aluminum.
  • Food waste from all UAF dining halls is being composted.
  • Grounds is mulch mowing many lawns on campus and composting grass clippings and other landscape waste that is collected.
  • Waste oil from Dining Services is being used to make biofuels.
  • Cooperative Extension is teaching composting and vermicomposting, or composting with worms, workshops in the community.
  • Vermicomposting is being used at the Chancellor’s home, Facilities Services Greenhouse and the Georgeson Botanical Garden (GBG).
  • Composting demonstration sites are maintained at the GBG.
  • UAF Experiment Station is composting animal manures.
  • The UAF Really Free Market is a freecycle event spearheaded by Summer Sessions and other partner organizations and was held twice in 2010. 
  • An online greenhouse data management system was created to reduce paper use and reduce waste and overall product waste.
  • Rasmuson Library is serviced with 100% recycled paper projects and is using Green Seal certified cleaning products.
  • Hand blowers are being installed in bathrooms, reducing paper waste.
  • Facilities Services Greenhouse is reusing old planters, resulting in fewer new planters needed every year.
  • Maintenance is reusing door hardware where appropriate, reducing waste and cost. The estimated savings is $6,250 annually.
  • Project bid documents and plans are now uploaded to an electronic bid distribution website, reducing paper and creating a more transparent process.
  • Trays have been eliminated from the dining hall, greatly reducing food waste and trash.
  • UAF has partnered with K & K Recycling, Inc. to use recycled paper as a feedstock for a cogeneration heat and power biomass plant.
  • In Summer 2010, the library donated a large volume of new and used textbooks to Fairbanks Literacy Agency that would have otherwise gone to the landfill.
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