Zero Waste

Mason is aiming for over 90% waste diverted from our trash stream, or “zero-waste.” We are far from that goal, but are working through programs like Green Office, Green Residence, composting in Dining Halls and around campus, greener purchasing, as well as waste, water and energy reduction pilots, engaging events and initiatives like Green Game, Race to Zero, and messaging campaigns to achieve those ends. Key sustainability partners in these efforts for Facilities and the Office of Sustainability include Mason Dining, Mason Housing & Residence Life, Mason Auxiliaries, and Eagle Bank Arena.

George Mason University also has several other programs to minimize our waste:

  • A surplus store, where department across campus can get donated items for free
  • Water Bottle Refill Stations in most every building to encourage the use of reusable water bottles
  • Annual Patriot Pack Out during student move-out, where students donate clothes, appliances, furniture, and food that would otherwise be thrown away when moving out of their residences. Since its start in 2014 students have donated over
  • Annual “Green Game“, where attendees of a Mason basketball game are encouraged to go zero-waste by recycling and composting
  • Composting program introduced to Southside and Globe Dining Halls in 2018, and efforts to increase composting to all dining halls on campus

Waste Minimization – How to Help

Things students, faculty, and staff can do to help:

  • DISPOSE PROPERLY. Place all trash and recycling in the appropriate bins. Trash that ends up on the ground can be washed into our drainage system and end up in Mason Pond, or even the Chesapeake Bay.
  • SORT ACCURATELY. Although glass, cans and plastics are sorted at the recycling facility, paper is sorted by Mason employees. Combining white and mixed paper limits the effectiveness of the recycling process and costs the University money.
  • STOP CONTAMINATION. Rinse out containers before you place them in recycling. The food left in packaging can contaminate the recycling, and can keep the whole batch from being recycled.
  • DO ALL THREE R’S. Remember that recycling is only one part of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.  You can make an even greater difference by using less of something or reusing it.  The recycling or incineration process uses more energy and is more labor-intensive than reducing or reusing items.
  • PARTICIPATE IN PPO. If you live on campus, participate in Patriot Pack Out (PPO) during student move-out in May. Your donated clothing, non-perishable food, small appliances, and other items will be given to local families in need.
  • BECOME AN AMBASSADOR. Represent your office as a Green Office ‘Ambassador’ or volunteer with Green Residence or zero-waste initiatives and events.
  • LEARN MORE ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY. Visit Mason’s Office of Sustainability at to get more information on how to be green at Mason!

Work Requests

  • Trash collection and disposal services are provided by Facilities on a daily basis through contract services.
  • For new bins, replacement bins, or special pick-ups, please contact the Customer Service Center at 703-993-2525 or email
  • You may also submit your work request online here.

Facilities Customer Service Center: call 703-993-2525 or email

Contact Info

Facilities Customer Service
Phone: 703-993-2525