Join Return Recycling for our first nation-wide Collective Trash Audit this Earth Week!

This year, from April 17th - 28th, Return Recycling is kicking off a nation-wide waste characterization campaign at
colleges and universities using our brand new waste characterization app, The Collective

Using The Collective, students, faculty, and administrators at schools around the country will conduct itemized waste audits to gather valuable, streamlined data on their waste streams. Then, they will be able to use analytics generated automatically from the app to compare their school's waste to other participants, and to make informed choices about how to work towards zero waste on their own campuses.

If you or someone you know at your college or university is interested in participating in Return Recycling's Collective Trash Audit this Earth Week, you can reach out to for more info. 

How it Works:

1.  Students, faculty, and/or staff organize a waste characterization study.

Whether it's a one-time audit of all dining halls on campus, or a continuous study of the waste coming out of a residence hall, your school can gain valuable information about its waste streams by simply digging through the trash.

2.  Participants download The Collective to use during the study

The Collective allows its users to collect detailed information about the waste that is being disposed of at the site in question. Users are walked through the steps of setting up and implementing a study, and are supported by the Return Recycling Team throughout the process.

3.  Everybody digs through trash!

Around the U.S., groups will sort through their waste and record data about the items that they find. Using valuable metrics that are the same across the board, users of The Collective will be able to compare their data to other users', both at their own school and across the country.

4.  Schools wind up with valuable data about their waste streams

By using The Collective, participants will collect data that will be automatically consolidated into valuable analytics, such as diversion and contamination rates, accuracy of disposal, and most common items and brands disposed of. These analytics can then be used by colleges and universities to inform the best ways of moving towards zero waste on their campuses.