Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 80.84
Liaison Corey Hawkey
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Arizona State University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.68 / 8.00 Corey Hawkey
Assistant Director
University Sustainability Practices
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1701.09 Tons 760 Tons
Materials composted 886.33 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 32.97 Tons 132 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 4739.63 Tons 9518 Tons
Total waste generated 7360.02 Tons 10410 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility, including affirmation that materials are sorted prior to conversion to recover recyclables and compostable materials:

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2015 June 30, 2016
Baseline Year July 1, 2006 June 30, 2007

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted (e.g. in sustainability plans and policies or in the context of other reporting obligations):

The baseline coincides with when Arizona State University completed its first formal Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 13920 6100
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 87955 52795
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 9967 9281
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 13761 0
Weighted campus users 66600.75 48082

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.11 Tons 0.22 Tons

Percentage reduction in total waste generated per weighted campus user from baseline:

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator by recycling, composting, donating or re-selling, performance year:

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator (including up to 10 percent attributable to post-recycling residual conversion):

In the waste figures reported above, has the institution recycled, composted, donated and/or re-sold the following materials?:
Yes or No
Paper, plastics, glass, metals, and other recyclable containers Yes
Food Yes
Cooking oil Yes
Plant materials Yes
Animal bedding Yes
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Laboratory equipment Yes
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets Yes
Tires Yes
Other (please specify below) Yes

A brief description of other materials the institution has recycled, composted, donated and/or re-sold:

Lab glass, sports equipment, scrap metal, polystyrene, books, wood, and construction and demolition debris. Blue Bag items: chip bags, energy bar wrappers, spent writing utensils, gift cards, cosmetic containers. Edible food is diverted through a local company redistributing to community programs.

Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year (e.g. materials that are actively diverted from the landfill or incinerator and refurbished/repurposed) :

Does the institution use single stream recycling (a single container for commingled recyclables) to collect standard recyclables (i.e. paper, plastic, glass, metals) in common areas?:

Does the institution use dual stream (two separate containers for recyclables, e.g. one for paper and another for plastic, glass, and metals) to collect standard recyclables (i.e. paper, plastic, glass, metals) in common areas?:

Does the institution use multi-stream recycling (multiple containers that further separate different types of materials) to collect standard recyclables (i.e. paper, plastic, glass, metals) in common areas?:

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program (percentage, 0-100):

A brief description of any recycling quality control mechanisms employed, e.g. efforts to minimize contamination and/or monitor the discard rates of the materials recovery facilities and mills to which materials are diverted:

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives, e.g. initiatives to shift individual attitudes and practices such as signage and competitions:

To reach Arizona State University's stated goal for zero solid waste the University has developed the following diversion programs:

• Traditional consumer recycling programs diverting all grades of plastics, paper, glass, aseptic containers, and metal.
• Special Recycling programs for electronics, batteries, CD's, sneakers, cell phones, toner cartridges, polystyrene, Terracycle items (chip bags and snack wrappers).
• Paying Arizona Correctional Industries $5 per mattress to recycle old residence hall mattresses.
• Paint reclamation and diversion.
• Campus Harvest - Harvesting food grown on the Polytechnic and Tempe Campuses for use in the dining facilities and the surrounding community.
• SunSET - http://www.asu.edu/sunset to promote material and supply sharing between departments.
• Composting landscaping waste at a local farm and with municipalities
• Composting food waste with municipal programs

A brief description of the institution's waste audits and other initiatives to assess its materials management efforts and identify areas for improvement:

Waste Management Sustainability Consultants performed a Waste Characterization Study for ASU from February 14 through 17, 2012. The study examined municipal solid waste generated at the ASU main campus in Tempe, Arizona. The function of this exercise was to examine material generation and waste stream composition in order to reduce waste and improve operational efficiencies. A Waste Characterization Report was then developed to provide quantitative baseline data and observations about the material assessed.

In collaboration with ASU’s dining services provider, ARAMARK, dining hall waste audits are performed in each dining hall every semester. The program, called Weigh the Waste, shuts down the dish belt for one meal and collects and weighs food waste from students while educating them about food waste issues and of previous years’ results. Total food waste is then divided by amount of students served during that period to determine an average weight of food wasted per student. Results are used not only to inform students to not take too much food, but also dining staff about appropriate portion sizes and the success of different recipes.

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste (e.g. by minimizing packaging and purchasing in bulk):

Arizona State University’s Green Purchasing policy requirements mandate reduced packaging, and any packaging that is used must meet at least one of the following, and preferably all of the following: made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials, be recyclable, be reusable, be non-toxic, and be bio-degradable. This requirement has reduced the amount of packaging material that arrives on campus.

Solicitations have specifications that suppliers must take away their packaging for large quantity equipment purchases.

ASU has moved completely away from broadloom carpeting to carpet tiles. We reduce waste by ordering only sections that need replacement. All carpet suppliers are required to pick up old carpet tiles and recycle them. (Also, broadloom inherently uses 15% to 20% more material, because of increased cutting and seaming to match patterns in irregular sized spaces.

In December 2009, ASU approved a Sustainable Design Policy to implement sustainable practices in the planning, construction, operation and maintenance of all university facilities. The policy applies to all new construction and major renovations on all ASU campuses. The guidelines provide direction in working toward the university’s goals of carbon neutrality, zero waste, active engagement and principled practice. Incorporated within this policy are the following waste reduction guidelines:

• Building Size & Footprint: Minimize the overall building size (square footage and footprint) while meeting the building program requirements. The goal is efficient use of space to reduce overall resource consumption; including embodied energy, operational energy, and building materials.

• Design for Future Use: Plan for a “100-year Building” through flexibility of use and future reuse. Design interior spaces that are flexible and allow for changes in use. Use standard furniture wherever possible. Minimize use of custom millwork, custom building systems (door frames, doors, interior windows etc.) to maximize reuse in the future. For retrofits, analyze current space requirements for space efficiency, function, and use proximity. Design in accordance with cradle to cradle principles to the full extent practical.

• Existing Landscaping: Protect significant natural and historic landscaping and incorporate those elements into the new landscape design. Design to optimize a balance of water conservation and energy conservation.

• Reused and repurposed materials should be integrated into the building shell, structural materials, finishes, and fixtures when they can be used without compromising quality.

• Construction Waste: Minimize or eliminate construction waste. Reduce, reuse and/or recycle waste materials to minimize disposal to a landfill.

A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

Arizona State University has Surplus Property where retired items are sold or recycled. The University also has an online program called Surplus Exchange and Transfer that is a university-wide "classified ad" system for exchanging property. Through SunSET, Arizona State University departments can re-use office supplies, lab supplies, some types of furniture, and other un-needed items, thus keeping many of these items from reaching our landfill.

A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse (e.g. of electronics, furnishings, books and other goods):

A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption (e.g. restricting free printing and/or mandating doubled-sided printing in libraries and computer labs):

Arizona State University eliminated printing free copies at the start of academic year 2009. All printing done by students at any of our computing centers and libraries is paid for by the respective student. In addition, the default setting for all computer lab printers is to print double-sided. Further, the University introduced one-to-one computing four years ago. Most students purchase their own laptops with the needed software installed so that they rarely have to use a computer center.

In addition, Arizona State University signed a 20-year agreement with Canon to digitize the University. As a part of this initiative, Canon has inventoried all input/output devices on campus and is visiting with departments to show them how they can adopt the latest technology while reducing their costs by replacing many input/output devices with a few networked multi-function devices. Canon devices offer print reduction programs, are set to double-sided printing, provide scan to e-mail, and fax to file. Furthermore, ASU's business model with Canon rewards them for the reduction of printing. Additionally, Canon has implemented behavior change campaigns on campus including signage that associates the amount of embodied water avoided by not printing each sheet paper.

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to make materials (e.g. course catalogs, course schedules, and directories) available online by default rather than printing them:

The Arizona State University course catalogs and course schedules are available online. All registration is now paperless. https://webapp4.asu.edu/catalog/

Directories are also primarily available online. https://webapp4.asu.edu/directory/

In addition, all orientation materials are now sent electronically or delivered on USB to students.

A brief description of the institution's program to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:

Ditch the Dumpster is the annual move-in and move-out program. The year-end donation and recycling drive collects thousands of pounds of reusable and recyclable items from students as they move out of ASU residence halls. Reusable items are donated to charity organizations that benefit children and families locally. Items that cannot be reused are re-purposed or recycled. Ditch the Dumpster is a university-wide initiative, consisting of several cross-functional departments and a third-party non-profit organization. Donation bins are designated at each residence hall approximately 3 weeks prior to semester's end; non-profit staff picks up donations on a daily basis. "Special" recycling collections are also set up adjacent to donation centers, for items such as e-waste, and polystyrene which cannot go into our single-stream recycling program. The move-in programming consists of increased recycling locations specifically targeting cardboard and Styrofoam collections.

A brief description of the institution's programs or initiatives to recover and reuse other materials intended for disposal:

Arizona State University's harvest tradition began in 1991 when all the stately date palms on campus were hand pollinated in the spring, covered with protective bags in the summer and harvested in the fall by the Arboretum at ASU arborists.These delicious dates were a big hit with the faculty and staff and the program grew in popularity.

In order for everyone to have an opportunity to buy a box of the limited supply of campus dates, the ASU Foundation and the Campus Bookstore began a distribution program. It has grown from 650 lbs. in 1991 to a record harvest of 4,500 lbs. of dates in 2000. All campus dates are cleaned, sorted and packed entirely by Arboretum volunteers. Every November the Arboretum volunteers also pack and deliver a special order of holiday date gift boxes for the ASU President and Vice President to give as gifts to ASU benefactors.

The largest campus crop at the Arboretum at ASU is the Seville sour orange. There are 260 Seville sour orange trees on the Tempe campus that produced six to eight tons of fruit each year.

For many years, campus sour oranges were picked by a local citrus broker for shipment to the marmalade industry. When the American demand for sour oranges tapered off, the broker stopped picking our sour oranges.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.