Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 57.66
Liaison Michael Kensler
Submission Date Jan. 23, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Auburn University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.74 / 8.00 Joan Hicken
Waste Reduction & Recycling
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 766.12 Metric tons 284.86 Metric tons
Materials composted Metric tons Metric tons
Materials donated or re-sold 9.25 Metric tons Metric tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion Metric tons Metric tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 3,998.87 Metric tons 4,539.55 Metric tons
Total waste generated 4,774.24 Metric tons 4,824.41 Metric 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 Oct. 1, 2016 Sept. 30, 2017
Baseline Year Oct. 1, 2005 Sept. 30, 2006

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 Waste Reduction & Recycling Department chose this baseline to align with their internal baseline/measuring, and it reflects the first year they feel confident in the reliability of their data.

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

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.21 Metric tons 0.24 Metric 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 No
Animal bedding No
White goods (i.e. appliances) No
Laboratory equipment No
Furniture No
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets No
Tires No
Other (please specify below) No

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

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:
The campus community is educated on what can and cannot be placed in the university’s recycling bins (outreach events, signage, campus newsletters, web, social media, etc.). Custodians receive training and have the opportunity to address contamination at the source and/or report to the Waste Reduction and Recycling Department to address. They collect the material from inside buildings and transport to collection points outside buildings. Solid waste techs further inspect the recycling stream as they collect the material from outside buildings and take the opportunity to remove contaminants.

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:
The university participates in the GameDay Recycling Challenge and RecycleMania – nationwide competitions to help colleges and universities advance campus recycling and waste reduction efforts. Staff attends all sessions of student orientation (Camp War Eagle) annually and counsels some 10,000 incoming freshmen, parents and guests on how to waste less and recycle more. The campus community receives information about the university’s recycling program via outreach events, signage, campus newsletters, web, social media, etc. Recycling bins are labeled with acceptable, and in some cases, unacceptable, materials (words and pictures).

A brief description of the institution's waste audits and other initiatives to assess its materials management efforts and identify areas for improvement:
The department conducts an annual waste audit partnering with Live Green, Save Green first year seminar learning community students. Students explore the broad scope of issues involved in the sustainability movement and their impact on modern society and the environment.

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste (e.g. by minimizing packaging and purchasing in bulk):
The university's office supply contract now requires a minimum $50 order before the items will ship, which reduces the need for smaller shipments and therefore reduces packaging. The office supply vendor also operates a fit-to-item packaging program, which greatly reduces packaging materials per order. In addition, the Pouring Rights contract requires our beverage and snack vendors to establish a pallet re-use/recycle program for their campus operations.

A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:
Auburn University departments are required to transfer all equipment purchased with university funds that is no longer useful or needed to the Surplus Property Department. Surplus Property personnel inspect this equipment and determine if there is any useful service life remaining. The surplus equipment that is still useful is made available to university departments. This equipment is listed on the Surplus Property website and can be inspected during business hours. The surplus equipment can also be transferred to Alabama public schools and State of Alabama governmental entities. Any equipment no longer needed by the university or not transferred to Alabama public schools or government agencies typically gets sold at public auction for use by the purchaser.

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):
All departments pay for printing/copying per page. In addition, all common-use student labs charge per page for printing/copying. The only "free" printing available to students is in professional school (e.g. - Architecture, Industrial Design) computer labs.

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:
Course catalogs and schedules are completely online, as are campus directories. All travel vouchers for campus-funded travel are now completed electronically, and many of the finance/budgeting systems only require electronic documentation/communication. E-ticketing is available for most athletics events that require a ticket, and the Athletic Department newsletter is now only an e-newsletter. Auburn Commons, a communication for Auburn Alumni, has also transitioned entirely to a digital format.

A brief description of the institution's program to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:
MOVE IN: Auburn University students start the school year off by recycling cardboard during fall move-in for those living on campus in residence halls. The Waste Reduction and Recycling Department provides additional cardboard dumpsters and/or roll-offs located near each residence hall to collect empty and flattened cardboard. Staff directs students to recycling stations located throughout the campus housing areas and assists them with recycling. MOVE OUT: Auburn University's Auxiliary Enterprises Property Management holds an annual "Check-Out for Charity" event where they partner with the Salvation Army of Lee County, Habitat for Humanity Restore, and the Campus Food Pantry & Campus Kitchens Project to divert excess items to local nonprofit groups and charities. Auburn donates nearly 3,000 lbs. of food collected during Check-Out for Charity to the Food Bank of East Alabama and an estimated 20 tons of goods to the Salvation Army each year.

A brief description of the institution's programs or initiatives to recover and reuse other materials intended for disposal:
The Waste Reduction and Recycling Department collects used binders from university departments throughout the year and redistributes them at an annual "Binder Giveaway."

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

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.