Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.20
Liaison Denice Koljonen
Submission Date Feb. 17, 2022

STARS v2.2

Boston College
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.70 / 8.00 gerard boyle
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,384.82 Tons 1,085.40 Tons
Materials composted 385.16 Tons 377.20 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 1 Tons 1 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 2,450 Tons 2,602.50 Tons
Total waste generated 4,220.98 Tons 4,066.10 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility:

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Period Jan. 1, 2019 Dec. 31, 2019
Baseline Period Jan. 1, 2016 Dec. 31, 2016

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted:

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 9,370 7,485
Number of employees resident on-site 83 99
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 14,171 13,520
Full-time equivalent of employees 3,568 3,350
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 297.50 291
Weighted campus users 15,444.38 14,330.25

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.27 Tons 0.28 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 No
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Electronics Yes
Laboratory equipment No
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets Yes
Tires Yes
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:

Does the institution use single stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Does the institution use dual stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Does the institution use multi-stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program:

A brief description of any recycling quality control mechanisms employed:

Facilities Services tracks the following performance metrics on an annual basis:
1. Total waste generated (materials diverted plus materials disposed of);
2. Diversion rate (materials diverted divided by total waste generated);
3. Percentage of the waste (by weight or volume) generated by facility construction and demolition activities diverted from the landfill;
4. Relevant equivalencies of material disposal in terms of climate change impacts;
5. Per student waste generation.
This is outlined on page 15 of Sustainable Operations Guidelines 1.0, under the Material Management, performance matrix section. https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/offices/sustainability/pdf/11-25%20-15%20sust%20ops%20guidelines.pdf

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives:

In all spaces where waste receptacles are available, receptacles clearly designated for collection of recyclables and waste are placed immediately adjacent to one another to ensure parallel access. Stand-alone waste collection receptacles are typically only allowed in restrooms or in other special circumstances. Color coding dumpster lids, toters and receptacles (blue for recyclable waste and yellow for compostable waste and black for MSW) in addition to signage clearly designating their use are initiatives aimed at behavior change.

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

Waste Audits have been conducted annually since 2015 to identify contamination rates and opportunities to increase diversion.

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

In 2015, Boston College engaged GreenerU, a sustainability and energy-consulting firm in Watertown, MA, to develop “Sustainable Operations Guidelines 1.0”. Pages 5 through 8 outline the “Sustainable Purchasing Guidelines” including objectives, procedures, performance metrics and the responsible parties. https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/offices/sustainability/pdf/11-25%20-15%20sust%20ops%20guidelines.pdf

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

Computer Donations
As a practice, Boston College does not donate computers to charity organizations. Computers that are no longer in use have their hard drives erased to comply with software license agreements and are sent to a third-party vendor for Asset Recovery and resold by the third party. If determined to not be resalable by the third party, the computers are disposed in a manner that adheres to all EPA, federal, and state regulations

A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse:

A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption:

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to make materials available online by default rather than printing them:

Course catalogs, schedules and directories are all available online for student and employee use. As are most Human Resources related forms.

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


Sustainability, community outreach and social awareness come together in the University’s annual BC Clean program. In 2011 Boston College found a solution to the annual issue of what to do with all of the furniture and appliances that are left behind every year when the school year ends and students move out. Through BC Clean, students can donate unwanted items in good condition. This includes clothing, non-perishable food, books, appliances, general household goods and furniture. All donations are collected by local non-profit organizations that distribute them to individuals and families in the greater Boston community. Since the program’s inception, over 228 tons of items have been redirected from waste to local charities.
BC Clean represents three university departments working together, with students, to provide an opportunity to serve others. The three departments are the Office of Residential Life, Custodial Services and the Office of Sustainability. Students and staff run drop-off locations in designated dormitory lounges throughout campus. Students are asked to bring the items they have set aside to these locations. The program is conducted in a manner that is thoughtful to students and parents since moving out is a very busy and emotional time for many.


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

Every Bite Counts

BC Dining is excited to support Every Bite Counts (eBC), a student volunteer group, in its efforts to donate food to over 40 nonprofits in the Greater Boston area. eBC was started in 2005 by Associate Director of Food and Beverage, Michael Kann, and freshman at the time, Molly Murphy. Throughout the years, eBC has worked with a variety of organizations including the Greater Boston Food Bank and the Veterans' Shelter; however, their mission to combat hunger has remained the same. eBC is currently partnered with Loving Spoonfuls, a food rescue organization.

The student group separates, packages, and weighs the food Sunday to Thursday nights and then coordinates pick up time with Loving Spoonful, who then delivers the food to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, food pantries, and other community centers and programs in Boston. What started out as a simple question: "What happens to all the extra food in the university's dining halls at the end of the night?" has now turned into an operation of over 40 students working in two of the major dining units on campus with the hopes of incorporating a third. The collaboration with BC Dining and Every Bite Counts has been a successful venture that has improved use of excess food, increased sustainability, and curbed surplus food production. "Every Bite Counts would not be possible without the effectiveness and transparency of BC Dining," said student leader Lynn Patrella. "Boston College Dining was immediately receptive and helped myself and the other student leaders start-up food recovery and eBC again on campus." BC Dining is excited to work with eBC to take the University's mission of "Men and Women for Others" and extend it BC Dining Services.


Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Performance period data from last submission was used as “Baseline Period” data for this submission. January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 are the dates used as the submissions “Performance Period”. Performance Period data for this submission was taken from the 2019 – 2020 Boston College Fact Book (Link below).

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.