|Submission Date||Aug. 2, 2019|
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion
|3.27 / 8.00||
Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
|Performance Year||Baseline Year|
|Materials recycled||2,124 Tons||361 Tons|
|Materials composted||1,476 Tons||0 Tons|
|Materials donated or re-sold||70 Tons||0 Tons|
|Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion||0 Tons||0 Tons|
|Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator||5,827 Tons||10,600 Tons|
|Total waste generated||9,497 Tons||10,961 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, 2017||June 30, 2018|
|Baseline Year||Jan. 1, 2005||Dec. 31, 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):
Boston University has adopted FY2006 as the baseline year for all operations metrics for sustainability. In 2006 a waste audit was conducted on the larger, Charles River Campus which provided the recycling quantity for the baseline year. No waste data was recorded on the Medical Campus until 2008, so the best estimate of the total waste incinerated for the University assumes the 2008 Medical Campus incinerated waste value for 2006. These 962 tons are added to the Charles River Campus total incinerated waste to provide a more accurate, though estimated total. We do know that nothing was recycled on the Medical Campus in 2006.
Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
|Performance Year||Baseline Year|
|Number of students resident on-site||11,504||11,185|
|Number of employees resident on-site||175||181|
|Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds||0||0|
|Total full-time equivalent student enrollment||27,168||24,623|
|Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty)||9,253||8,439|
|Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education||993||1,605|
|Weighted campus users||29,490.75||26,434.25|
Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
|Performance Year||Baseline Year|
|Total waste generated per weighted campus user||0.32 Tons||0.41 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|
|White goods (i.e. appliances)||Yes|
|Residence hall move-in/move-out waste||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 (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:
In October 2017 and March 2018, Net Impact, sustainability@BU, and BU Dining Services engaged the campus community in sustainability competitions through a challenge in the sustainability@BU app. The challenge was referred to as the "Reusables Week Challenge". Throughout the challenge, members learn how they can make an impact on the BU community by using reusable mugs and containers.
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 of residence halls including dorm rooms, offices, study lounges, mail rooms, and laundry rooms are performed after the implementation of new recycling programs. The data collected serves to evaluate the effectiveness of more convenient waste & recycling systems as well as the effectiveness of the educational signage program associated with the program and is used as a reference for waste minimization strategies in other residential buildings on campus.
A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste (e.g. by minimizing packaging and purchasing in bulk):
sustainability@BU collaborates with the BU Sourcing & Procurement team to implement programs to reduce packaging from suppliers.
A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:
The sustainability@BU Exchange is a free service that allows BU employees to reuse supplies & furniture within the university. To benefit from the service, employees fill out an online form, upload a photo of the item and submit their request.
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):
The sustainability@BU Exchange is a free service that allows BU employees to swap items with colleagues around the office and throughout the University. To benefit from the service, employees fill out an online form, upload a photo of the item and submit their request.
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):
In 2009, Boston University enacted a printing quota for all students. Every undergraduate student, faculty member, and staff member is allocated 100 sheets per semester and graduate students are allocated 500 sheets per semester. Double-sided printing is available at all on-campus print center locations. Print allocations are reset each semester and there is a fee for each page that exceeds the allocated limit.
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:
All course catalogs, course schedules, and directories are only available online. These documents are no longer printed.
A brief description of the institution's program to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:
Boston University has partnered with Goodwill Industries to reduce waste during move-out since 2010. The move-out program gives students the opportunity to donate unwanted goods to Goodwill during the last month of the academic year. Collection bins are placed in fifteen convenient locations throughout campus so that students may have easy access to drop-off areas. Goodwill collects clothing and other goods from each location and then sells those items in stores to support important local job training and youth programs. Goodwill, Not Landfill is now implemented at the end of each semester to capture all the good stuff students leave behind when they move out of their dorms. The Goodwill, Not Landfill move-out program diverted 62 tons from landfills in 2018. Overall, the program has diverted 658 tons of clothing, electronics, and housewares from the landfill.
During move-in, Scarlet Squad volunteers are trained to guide incoming students and families in recycling cardboard. This year, through a coordinated effort with FM&P, Custodial Services, Residence Life, Housing, BUPD, Save That Stuff (BU’s recycling vendor), the Scarlet Squad, and sustainability@BU, the University recycled 38 tons of cardboard.
A brief description of the institution's programs or initiatives to recover and reuse other materials intended for disposal:
Since 2009, sustainability@BU has provided reusable coffee mugs to community members who sign up to Join the Challenge, a monthly competition to reduce our environmental footprint. In 2016 the Join the Challenge platform was moved to the sustainability@BU app.
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
While figures entered for the "Weighted Campus Users" calculations are from FY06, sustainability@BU was only able to collect CY06 data for "waste generated." Because both are 12-month time periods and share a 6-month overlap, we regard them as comparable.
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.