Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.82
Liaison Holli Fajack
Submission Date Jan. 29, 2021

STARS v2.2

California State University, Long Beach
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.02 / 8.00 Holli Fajack
Sustainability Coordinator
Physical Planning and Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,884.70 Tons 1,162.90 Tons
Materials composted 733.25 Tons 589.50 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 98.38 Tons 61.20 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 2,874.90 Tons 2,553 Tons
Total waste generated 5,591.23 Tons 4,366.60 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, 2013 Dec. 31, 2013

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

The baseline year was adopted because it was the original baseline year used on our first (2017) STARS report. Utlizing the same baseline year for our subsequent reports will allow us to best track our progress over time. The original baseline year (2013) was adopted because it was the year before the first campus composting program was adopted in the University Student Union.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,596 2,605
Number of employees resident on-site 81 2
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 31,571 29,547
Full-time equivalent of employees 3,643.40 2,991
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1,928.20 0
Weighted campus users 25,633.90 25,055.25

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.22 Tons 0.17 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 No
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) Yes

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

Items not included in the weight numbers reported above include writing instruments, office and school supplies, packaging foam collected during move-in, and surplus food from events.

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:

Grounds and Custodial staff take an active role in monitoring waste deposited into receptacles and dumpsters around campus. They take steps to remove items placed in the wrong bins and also notify management of persistent issues with regard to improper waste diversion so that building users can be made aware of and adhere to the programs in place. The campus waste hauler is also required to monitor contamination of dumpsters during regular pick-up routes and notify management if issues are identified.

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

In 2018, the university launched its campus-wide zero waste initiative, Waste Not. The goal of the program is to install new recycling bins inside and outside buildings, develop and deploy comprehensive communications and outreach plan, and implement student and staff training. The project is ongoing, but as of November 2020, new bins and signage have been installed in 30 campus buildings, new dual-stream bins have been installed across our entire 322-acre campus, and 22 employee training have been conducted. Additionally, an informational website and video were created to help campus community members understand and better follow the zero waste program.

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

Twice per year, the university's waste hauling company conducts audits of the dumpsters on campus to identify contamination and, over the course of a one week period, document the level of fullness at each location. The goal of this exercise is to rectify any contamination issues and also right-size bins and service levels. The Office of Sustainability staff also periodically works with students in service-learning courses to conduct waste characterization studies in order to understand the waste stream coming out of specific areas or buildings and make adjustments to bin infrastructure, signage or training programs.

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

In December of 2018, the CSU system passed a procurement policy related to single-use plastics. The policy banned plastic straws and called for the ban of single-use polystyrene by January 1, 2021, and plastic water bottles by January 1, 2023. Additionally, standard contract language encourages vendors to use minimal packaging when delivering products to the university. A $50 minimum purchase was also implemented to orders to CSULB's primary office supplies vendor, Staples, as a strategy to reduce packaging and minimize carbon emissions related to delivery.

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

CSULB's Property Management Office (PMO) oversees the university's surplus property program. Because all of the property on campus is technically owned by the State of California, staff, faculty, and departments that are disposing of furniture, computers, vehicles, and other equipment are required to work with the PMO to ensure that those items are properly removed from the property inventory. Once that process is initiated, the PMO also works to find alternate uses for the property that is still in working order. This is accomplished by notifying department representatives of the availability of items that are available to be claimed, posting items on the Public Surplus website to be auctioned off, or donating the items to local non-profits or other area schools.

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

Associated Students, Inc. runs a “Student Swap Shop” which is housed with the student food pantry. The Swap Shop accepts donations of surplus school supplies, personal care items, and other reusable items in good working condition during the year and also conducts supply drives throughout the school year. Items are free to students in need.

The PMO also hosts an annual “Lost and Found Auction” each fall during which bikes, electronics, jewelry, books, and other items that have gone unclaimed at the Lost and Found office are sold and auctioned off. Money generated through sales is used for program expenses, such as storage and marketing.

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

Efforts to minimize paper and ink consumption include actively discouraging personal printers in faculty and staff offices in favor of centralized networked departmental copier/printers, charging students a per-page fee to print at the library and other lab spaces, and instituting a limit on the number of pages faculty are allowed to print within their departmental offices.

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 available online by default, and communications to students, faculty, and staff are conducted via email or other digital platforms. A limited number of catalogs are printed to accommodate those with special needs that restrict their ability to utilize the digital format.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck and forced the campus to begin operating remotely (teleworking for staff and faculty, distance learning for students), a great number of processes and forms that had traditionally been paper-based functions were quickly converted to digital forms. This will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on paper-usage going forward.

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

During residence hall move-in, Facilities Management and Housing and Residential Life staff work together to set up stations outside of the buildings where staff, students, and parents can bring empty cardboard boxes to be broken down for recycling. In addition, large blocks of packaging foam are collected and donated to a local company that repurposes the material as building insulation.

During move-out, Facilities Management and Housing and Residential Life team up again to deploy collection bins for donated items such as clothing, household goods, and small appliances, which are then picked up by a local organization such as Salvation Army or Goodwill. Surplus school supplies are also collected by ASI for the Student Swap Shop. In the past, when housing upgrading the furnishings inside the residence halls, the university worked with Habitat for Humanity to donate some cabinets and other small furniture items for use in some of their projects.

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


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

Reporting Period: Calendar Year 2019

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.