Why Rethink Waste?

Rethink Waste is one arm of the Custodial and Environmental Services Department out of University Facilities. Rethink Waste is made up of 4 full time staff and 10-15 student Rethink Waste Representatives. The Rethink Waste team was officially established, in its current form, in October 2021. The overarching goal of Rethink Waste is to move the University of Richmond towards our goal of 75% waste diversion by 2025.

Over the last 5 years, Rethink Waste has evolved from a goal in the campus Sustainability Plan, to a committee made up of faculty and staff from across campus, to the Compost Coordinators Program during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and finally to a recognized university office responsible for all things waste management on campus. We maintain the physical waste infrastructure on campus, manage waste hauling contracts for most campus waste streams, educate the campus community on all relevant topics, host waste-related events, and run the Spider Exchange. We also work to raise awareness of, educate about, and encourage participation in recycling and composting programs, as well as promote sustainable living practices. 

We have 2 main locations on campus. Our official office is in the Physical Plant, but we also run the Rethink Waste House/Spider Exchange on New Fraternity Row. The Spider Exchange evolved from the former University of Richmond Office Supply Exchange (UROSE). Having this space has allowed us to vastly expand the free items available and make it a more exciting space for all of our constituencies. This space has also allowed us to develop more robust donation and reuse programs with some of our community partners.