Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 57.92
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Bowdoin College
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.01 / 5.00 Keisha Payson
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainable Bowdoin
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 417.21 Tons 174 Tons
Materials composted 93.43 Tons 2.72 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 21.55 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 559.02 Tons 380.42 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 1,643 1,581
Number of residential employees 32 22
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 1,791 1,677
Full-time equivalent of employees 894 704
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 0 0

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2014 June 30, 2015
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 June 30, 2005

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

This is the baseline year we have used throughout all of our STARS reporting during our 2013 submission, and we have made an effort to continue to use it for this most recent submission.


A brief description of any (non-food) waste audits employed by the institution:

The Eco Reps from each first year residence hall and each College House conduct annual waste audits of their respective halls. Trash bags from each house's trash room are collected, sorted, and analyzed to determine how much waste could have been recycled, and to provide a better understanding of where to target educational outreach efforts.


A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

Bowdoin's office supplier, W.B. Mason, provides the college with reusable totes for delivery to reduce the waste produced by shipping materials. Additionally, the college has adopted a “Green Mondays and Wednesdays” program that does not allow delivery on these days to reduce emissions.


A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

Sustainable Bowdoin encourages offices to exchange supplies via the annual end of the year Give-and-Go collection program that the college runs in partnership with Goodwill of Northern New England. There is also an online warehouse forum for material exchange run by Facilities Management, typically used for surplus office and conference room furniture.


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

Most college materials are now default available online instead of in print. Student and staff employee time cards are online using the Timepro program, as well as most of Bowdoin's institutional policies and procedures. College directories, course catalogs and handbooks default available online and are only available in print in limited quantities. Additionally, annual employee benefit enrollment information is now distributed online instead of in print. Many professors are now posting relevant course material on Bowdoin's online site, Blackboard, and encouraging students to print as little material as possible. Additionally, the amount of paper in the First-Year Orientation packets has been significantly reduced, and all of the material is now available on Blackboard.


A brief description of any limits on paper and ink consumption employed by the institution:

To reduce waste and encourage less paper usage, Bowdoin has adopted an "allocation, then charge" model for printing and copying. Each semester, students receive a $60 credit - equivalent to 750 black-and-white, double-sided sheets. Once a student's semester's allocation is exhausted, print costs are debited from their OneCard account. Single-sided prints are 5 cents per page, while double-sided prints are 8 cents per page


A brief description of any programs employed by the institution to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:

At the end of the year, Bowdoin provides Give 'N Go boxes to every residential dorm. Students are encouraged to donate any items (rugs, lights, clothing, bedding) they no longer need or cannot travel home with. After all students have left, the collected items are picked up by Goodwill of Northern New England. They take the materials to their warehouse where items are sorted and redistributed throughout their New England stores. This past year, Goodwill collected over 47,000 pounds of materials from the student move-out program. Of that material, 889 pounds of cleaning product and 637 pounds of food were delivered to the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program in Brunswick, which is distributed to local individuals and families in need. Additionally, Bowdoin provides extra recycling dumpsters during First-Year move-in to encourage new students to recycle their cardboard boxes, papers, etc.


A brief description of any other (non-food) waste minimization strategies employed by the institution:

For many years Bowdoin's libraries have collected single sided paper that is abandoned at the libraries public printers and sends the paper o the Bowdoin Copy Center, which binds the scrap paper into reusable note pads.


A brief description of any food waste audits employed by the institution:

Sustainable Bowdoin hosts a few food audits per semester to calculate the amount of food waste produced by the student body and to promote awareness about food waste.


A brief description of any programs and/or practices to track and reduce pre-consumer food waste in the form of kitchen food waste, prep waste and spoilage:

All of the pre-consumer waste from both dining halls is composted. Additionally, both of our dining halls use accurate menu forecasting from a sophisticated food management software to match food production to usage.


A brief description of programs and/or practices to track and reduce post-consumer food waste:

Sustainable Bowdoin hosts a few food audits each semester where students weigh and compare the post-consumer food from trayless meals and tray meals. Students also provide information tables in the dining halls at various times throughout the semester to encourage individuals to go trayless, which has been shown to reduce food waste.


A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable and/or third party certified compostable to-go containers for to-go food and beverage items (in conjunction with a composting program):

At Bowdoin's Jack Magee's Pub students, faculty and staff may purchase reusable plastic to-go containers for $5, earning them a $0.25 discount with every use. However, should students choose not to purcahse one, the standard to-go containers are all compostable.The cups from Bowdoin's Cafe are also compostable.


A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable service ware for “dine in” meals and reusable and/or third party certified compostable service ware for to-go meals (in conjunction with a composting program):

All of Bowdoin's "dine-in" service ware is reusable.
When Dining Services is catering a meal, all of the dining ware is compostable.


A brief description of any discounts offered to customers who use reusable containers (e.g. mugs) instead of disposable or compostable containers in to-go food service operations:

When students, faculty and staff bring a reusable cup or mug to Bowdoin's Cafe, they automatically receive a 5% discount on any available drink. Participants who utilize the Eco-container program at Jack MaGee's Pub receive a $0.25 discount when ordering food at the pub.


A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:

Bowdoin students can purchase reusable bags for express (to-go) meals. Instead of using brown paper bags, students can put their lunch or dinner items in a cloth bag. Each time students use their cloth bag, they receive a stamp on their mark card. Students receive a $1.00 coupon for the Cafe or Pub and have their name entered into a raffle after they collect 8 stamps.


The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

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.