The University of Pittsburgh is serious about choosing reuse first, then moving on to recycling and other materials diversion from the landfill.  We have many different initiatives YOU can participate in to help us reduce waste campus-wide.

Choose to Reuse

Eliminate disposable takeout containers and Choose to Reuse! At campus dining or retail food location, students and employees can order meals in a reusable container (including The Eatery, The Perch at Sutherland, and Schenley Cafe in the William Pitt Union). Learn more about how to ask for and return your first free reusable container!.


The BYO[Bag] campaign was started to help reduce plastic bag use on campus. Before BYO[Bag], the Pitt community used 15,000 plastic bags each week. We’re continuing the transition to a single-use bag free campus, so please bring your own OR Pitt-branded reusable bags can be purchased at various campus locations , with profits going to the Pitt Green Fund.


BYO[Cup] incentivizes everyone on-campus to bring their own drinking vessel for hot and cold beverages. Despite our goal to serve 50% of all to-go beverages in reusable containers by 2025, there are still 12,000 single-use cups used on campus each week! When you bring your own cup, you’ll get discounted beverages at campus coffee cars ($1.19 hot or iced coffee or tea and $0.25 off all espresso drinks).

Woman purchases item at student-run Thriftsburgh store

University of Thriftsburgh

The University of Thriftsburgh is Pitt’s on-campus, student-run thrift store, located in the O’Hara Student Center. You can shop for low cost clothing to dress fashionably and contribute to Pitt’s culture of reuse on campus. Thriftsburgh also accepts donations for in-store credit.

Every Fall, Thriftsburgh has an annual rummage sale, making inexpensive secondhand clothing and home goods available to students!

While wearable clothing and accessories should be donated to Thriftsburgh, Pitt also offers textile recycling across campus clothing and linens that are at the end of their life.

Moving In

Pitt prides itself on being a sustainable campus — and this extends to your stay in our residence halls. Learn more about what to bring to campus — and (maybe more importantly, what to leave at home). We encourage students to pack minimally for the Fall semester. Please consider the durability of what you’re bringing to campus — and what might happen to items when you no longer need them (i.e., can they be donated, reused, or recycled — or will they end up in a landfill?)

Moving Out: Clutter for a Cause

During Spring move-out, look for our annual Clutter for a Cause donation drive! We will take your gently used household and kitchenware items, along with clothing, room decorations, textbooks, and more. Look for Clutter for a Cause bins in every residence hall at the end of every Spring semester — and off-campus locations throughout the Summer!