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Managing Waste

Managing Waste

Managing Waste

As part of Bentley's Strategic Goals, we've pledged to reduce our waste by 60% by the year 2020. Together as a community, faculty, staff, and students, are contributing towards achieving this goal through small changes to everyday habits.

Flex Recycling

Recycling Program

In 2018, the recycling industry changed worldwide. More stringent regulations on acceptable contamination resulted in many U.S. organizations and municipalities receiving notices regarding rejected recycling loads. Bentley was not immune to this issue. In 2018, 98.74 tons of Bentley’s waste was rejected from recycling facilities due to contamination (mostly from food and liquids). The university reacted quickly to the change in contamination level policies, outfitting all recycling bins across campus with new signage and through education and outreach measures including student-to-student communication, email and social media. In 2018, the university’s diversion rate – a key performance indicator in recycling analysis – was 40.5%. With the implementation of education and outreach efforts, the diversion rate is expected to rise in 2019.  

Learn More About Our Recycling Program



Bentley has been diverting food waste from the trash since 2014. Food scraps are collected for composting in the university’s three main preparatory kitchens servicing the 921 Dining Hall, the LaCava Lower Café, Faculty Staff Dining Room, campus catering operations and the Dana Center Food Court. Post-consumer (i.e. leftover) food from the 921 Dining Hall and catering operations is also collected in the university’s compost program. In 2018, Bentley composted 167 tons of food waste, down slightly from compost collection in 2017 likely due to the Food Rescue Program implemented at the 921 Dining Hall.  

Food for Free

Food Rescue Program

In 2018, Bentley commenced a leftover food donation program in collaboration with Food for Free, a local non-profit food rescue organization. Through this program, leftover prepared food from the campus’ 921 Dining Hall is collected and frozen by Bentley Dining staff. This frozen food is picked up by Food for Free several times per week and turned into meals for people in need in the Greater Boston Area. Bentley donated a total of 9,725 pounds of leftover prepared food in 2018.  

Give 'N Go

Give N' Go

Also contributing to the university’s waste diversion rate has been Bentley’s sustainable move out program, “Give N’ Go.” This program encourages students to donate unwanted belongings as they move out of residence halls at the end of the academic year.  Reusable goods like clothing, furniture and kitchen items are collected and donated to Goodwill Northern New England. In addition, all non-perishable food donated by residential students is given to the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Hudson, NH. In total, Bentley students donated 10.54 tons of reusable items to Goodwill and 948 pounds of food to the food bank during the spring 2018 move out cycle.  

Learn More About Give N' Go