Zero Waste Hero Certification
UT Austin's Zero Waste Hero Certification is a self-paced certification program on Canvas that provides a unique opportunity for current UT students to prepare to be role models for others and learn more about zero waste on campus. Students will learn about a variety of zero waste topics at their own pace, including recycling, reducing food waste, composting, and more. This knowledge is then reinforced through individual practice opportunities and UT Action Hours. This free certification is co-managed by Resource Recovery and University Housing and Dining with developmental funding from Green Fund.
Zero Waste Presentation for your office, class, floor, or group
Invite Resource Recovery to your next meeting! This presentation can answer your questions about recycling, composting, campus services, how to reduce waste in your office, and more.
- Powerpoint presentation of campus zero waste resources and recycling and composting specifics
- Conversational format to answer all your questions
- Posters and materials for your office
- 15-60 minutes of great information (you determine the length)
Email email@example.com to schedule a presentation.
Tour of Surplus Property
Operationally based at the Pickle Research Campus, Surplus Property is joined with Zero Waste within Resource Recovery. Surplus Property stewards all state-owned property collecting, storing, and transferring it among multiple stakeholders to reduce land-filling of durable goods and optimize university value. Operations include selection for university reuse, a public storefront, and online auctions.
- See the warehouses where surplus items are stored, donated, and sold.
- Hear how the surplus operation works to reduce waste through reuse and recycling.
- Browse hundreds of items that are in the warehouses each week, including items that are currently available through the online auction and retail store.
- Learn about benefits for qualifying schools and assistance organizations.
- Learn how the retail auction process works.
- Ask how your group or department might benefit from donations and through the auctions or the Surplus REuse Store.
To schedule a tour of Surplus Property operations, contact 512-232-7043 or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office and Lab Support
Zero Waste Workplace Program:
Resource Recovery is prioritizing recycling and composting infrastructure updates for academic buildings. Visit the Zero Waste Workplace page to see how you can enhance your building's participation.
Green Offices Program:
A points-based certification process from the Office of Sustainability that empowers UT faculty and staff to generate sustainable change in their workspace. Waste & Recycling is one of seven campus sustainability initiative areas included. Visit the Green Offices website for more information.
Zero Waste Events:
Events are the perfect opportunity to make a big impact in waste reduction. Resource Recovery provides free consultation services to help faculty and staff event planners successfully host sustainable events. Visit the Zero Waste Events page to learn more.
Many zero waste programs and projects are hosted by other UT departments and rely on volunteers for their success. You can reach out to the organizations directly, or join the Zero Waste Hero self-paced certification program to access a calendar of on-campus volunteer opportunities such as:
- UT Farm Stand Plate Waste Study
- Waller Creek Cleanup
- UT Outpost donation sorting
- Trash to Treasure Donation Drive & Sales
- MoveOut ATX
- …and many more!
Student Internships & Opportunities
Resource Recovery Student Internship Program
Our Resource Recovery Student Interns
The The Resource Recovery Student Internship Program promotes students to make a direct and tangible impact on our campus with a focus on support to classroom and office building staff and faculty, as well as provides the opportunity to develop the skillset necessary to transition from college to the workforce. Interns develop leadership, interpersonal, and critical thinking skills in the process of providing valuable insight to zero waste initiatives, assisting in project development and implementation, and serving as an incubator and testing organization for new ideas.
We are a community partner with University Leadership Network, Bridging Disciplines Program (Connecting Experience), and ProjectLEAD. All positions are open to work-study applicants. We typically have openings each semester and in the summer.
Resource Recovery supports classroom projects, Sustainability Studies internships, Capstone Projects, and BDP Connecting Experiences which can directly benefit our program and your resume. Students can apply their skills to real world problems. Reach out to us at ResourceRecovery@austin.utexas.edu to discuss how zero waste fits with your coursework requirements.
See What We Are Up To
Resource Recovery student interns make a direct and tangible impact on our campus, providing valuable insight to zero waste initiatives. Watch the video below to learn more.
Interested in zero waste opportunities on campus? Check HireUTexas for our current job openings and to apply.
Recent Intern Project Teams
- Zero Waste Workplace – Leave a lasting impact! Implement bin pairing with updated labeling and roll-out restroom paper towel composting in partnership with Custodial Services. Partner with staff & faculty to provide additional services and outreach, such as break room compost training. Team members need to be detail orientated and have excellent communication skills. Availability on Friday afternoons is preferred for roll-outs.
- Waste Audit – Lay a strong foundation! Resource Recovery sets our priorities and assess our success through a data-centered understanding of our campus waste stream. Team members need excellent teamwork and communication skills and comfort working outside.
- Surplus REuse Store – Build community! Support all operations of Surplus Property's public storefront. Surplus is the center of material reuse on campus. A set weekly schedule is required based on store operating hours. This position is based at the Pickle Research Campus.
- Zero Waste Events – Be groundbreaking! Continue to build and refine zero waste event support. Provide nuanced information in an accessible way to staff and faculty event planners during personalized consultations in order to reduce event waste. Team members need excellent communication skills, enthusiasm, and professionalism to educate staff & faculty. Schedule flexibility is required to accommodate staff & faculty meeting availability.