Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.18
Liaison Ryan Todd
Submission Date May 9, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

California State University, Sacramento
OP-23: Waste Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.65 / 3.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Materials diverted from the solid waste landfill or incinerator:
1,312.31 Tons

Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator :
1,080.69 Tons

A brief description of programs, policies, infrastructure investments, outreach efforts, and/or other factors that contributed to the diversion rate, including efforts made during the previous three years:

1. Sac State Sustainability: University program that helps promotes sustainability on campus. Recycling, a component of Sac State Sustainability, maintains the operational standards of waste diversion at Sac State.
2. Take-Back Program: This award-winning program sought to open up free recycling opportunities to both the campus community as well as the surrounding communities. At the direction of the Recycling Coordinator, this program opened up all streams for which the University either gained monetarily or was able to recycle at no cost to the University. This program, which piggybacked the campus' recycling efforts, also allowed for waste diversion beyond the constraints of the campus. Streams that were part of this program include, but were not limited to: electronic waste, polystyrene foam, car batteries, etc. At its peak, this program averaged about 900 pounds of e-waste alone every month.
3. Tailgate Recycling: This program invites the students of the University to join with Sac State Recycling to capture CRV materials from tailgate events at home football games. The Fall of 2015 saw the advent of compost collection as part of these events.
4. Procurement Public Auction: Procurement operates a public auction of all materials deemed by Property to be of operating condition but of no further use to the University. These auctions can include any type of equipment, up to and including vehicles, forklifts, etc.
5. Trash Can Reduction: In an effort to remind the campus community that most items are recyclable, Sac State Recycling is removing unnecessary external trash cans from the campus. Furthermore, in a joint effort with Custodial Services, Recycling is switching desk side trash receptacles to a smaller 1.75 gallon mini-trash bin.
6. Food Composting: As opportunities avail themselves, pre and post-consumer food items from campus eateries, coffeehouses, etc., are being composted through various methods including vermicomposting, biodigesters, etc.
7. Green Waste Composting: The campus has created a temporary facility to house its burgeoning Green Waste Compost program, where green waste items can be composted to create mulch that will be used for campus greenery efforts. A permanent facility to exercise this program is in the planning stages. Prior to this temporary facility, the University's green waste was processed at a local co-gen plant to create energy.
8. C&D Diversion: The University's Planning Department requires at least 50% diversion from landfills of all capital construction projects occurring on campus.
9. Refuel Your Fun: Peak Adventures, a campus institution that allows students to join backpacking trips, get bikes serviced, etc., has begun a program in conjunction with California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC), in which personal-sized propane tanks can be rented or refilled, reducing the need of further purchase of these tanks.
10. Don't Rush to Flush: In another joint venture with CPSC, and through a grant from the Rose Foundation, the University was given a secure bin to collect unused or expired medication, including pet meds. These medications are collected for incineration, preventing the introduction of said medications to the water stream via flushing.
11. Department Recycling Days: This program was created to help departments declutter their offices (and homes) in a sustainable manner. Working together, a department representative and the Recycling Coordinator worked in advance to promote to the department members all of the office and personal items that would be accepted for recycling and on which day the event would be. On the day of the event, the Recycling Team would then come and pick-up, weigh, and otherwise document the materials before delivering them to their respective holding areas for recycling.

1. The university's Recycling Program is based in part on requirements set forth by CA Assembly Bills 75, 341, and 1826.
2. "Procedures for the Safeguarding and Disposal of State Property" is the official university policy regarding the determination of materials to be reused, recycled, or auctioned. This policy is based in part on ICSUAM Policies: 3150.01 – Administration of University Property & 3151.04 – Equipment.
3. It is the practice of Sac State to conduct businesses of recycling and other forms of diversion with CalRecycle-approved vendors deemed to satisfactorily recycle and/or otherwise divert materials in a safe and sustainable manner.

Infrastructure Investments:
1. Temporary compost yard - The University has temporarily converted a portion of its spoils yard into a green waste composting facility.
2. Sustainable Technologies Optimization Research Center (STORC) - STORC has, through its programs including vermicomposting and biodiesel production, captured various pre-consumer streams from campus eateries and coffeehouses. The Center houses the facilities of these programs.
3. Waste compactors - The university employs the use of several recycling compactors, including one 20-yard food compactor.

1. Online - Sac State Recycling maintains a heavy presence on its social media accounts, including Facebook and Instagram, as well as on the university's official social media accounts, regularly reaching thousands of viewers each week. When reposted on the University's main social media account, the message of recycling has its best opportunity to reach most of the 28,500+ students at Sac State. A list of the types of materials that can be recycled can also be found on the Sac State Sustainability website.
2. Recycle It All Day - An event typically occurring in both Fall and Spring semesters invites the campus community to bring in various approved materials for recycling. In the past, these approved streams have included e-waste, batteries, light bulbs, clothes hangers, etc.
3. Sac State Sustainability typically tables at University events such as Rush Week and the WELL's WELLcome Back event.
4. Sac State Sustainability conducts its annual Earth Day event each April, where recycling and waste diversion play significant roles--once even collecting 7000 pounds of recyclable materials.
5. Sac State Sustainability volunteers act as docents at events such as Tailgate Reycling and Housing Move In/Out events, instructing event attendees of the various recycling opportunities available at Sac State.
6. Housing's RA Training - Each Fall, new Resident Advisors in the university's Housing department are instructed on University recycling opportunities so that they may in turn instruct students living in their dorms.
7. Graphics - Numerous graphics have been created through the years to illustrate opportunities for recycling. These graphics have been tailored to the department, event, or program which is promoting recycling. These graphics have been created as inforgraphics, posters, and even stickers, and are displayed throughout the campus.
8. At the invitation of faculty and/or program advisors, the Recycling Coordinator has participated in speaking engagements to promote recycling opportunities at Sac State as well as the university's efforts at waste diversion.
9. To better promote the Sac State Recycling program, Sac State Recycling has submitted for awards and has been the recipient of the CPSC Infinity Arrow Award, the only school in CA (Kindergarten through University Level) to have won in the last six years.
10. Recyclemania and Game Day Recycling: These are Retrac programs available through Keep America Beautiful and are competitions designed to promote recycling specifically to college students.

A brief description of any food donation programs employed by the institution:

At the writing of this response there are no food donation programs currently employed by the University. However, this has been noted and we have begun to address the issue.

A brief description of any pre-consumer food waste composting program employed by the institution:

1. Beginning in March 2014, the Recycling Department began to collect used coffee grounds from the University's coffee houses. This program was then turned over to students working at the Sustainable Technologies Optimization Research Center (STORC) to be used in their composting program.
2. Also beginning in 2014, students from STORC began collecting pre-consumer food stuffs from various campus eateries and also from the University's Children's Center which created the stream when making snacks for their students. Much of this material was taken to the STORC for composting as part of the students' vermicomposting program.
3. Cooking oils collected in the University's Consumer Sciences Department are collected for use at STORC and processed into a form of bio-fuel. This bio-fuel has, in part, been added to the Facilities Management's diesel supply for state vehicles.
4. Cooking oils collected by Dining Services from the campus eateries are recycled in one of two ways. If the oil is relatively clean and there is a need for significant volume, then whatever can go to STORC does so as is processed much as described in #3. The rest of the oil is collected in bins by a local rendering company and is processed off-site.

A brief description of any post-consumer food waste composting program employed by the institution:

1. Currently all the post consumer product is collected from the University's Dining Commons and shipped via the University's waste hauler to a local bio digester facility. This facility is known as Clean World and captures the methane and other gases from the composting process and infuses them with natural gas to create a bio compacted natural gas product. It is this final product which is used for fuel for the University's Hornet Bus program--six buses fueled by bio CNG gas which serve as free mass transportation for the students of this university. This is a newer program and in its first semester we were able to divert 26.49 tons from the landfill!

Does the institution include the following materials in its waste diversion efforts?:
Yes or No
Paper, plastics, glass, metals, and other recyclable containers Yes
Food donations No
Food for animals No
Food composting Yes
Cooking oil Yes
Plant materials composting Yes
Animal bedding composting No
Batteries Yes
Light bulbs Yes
Toner/ink-jet cartridges Yes
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Laboratory equipment Yes
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets Yes
Motor oil Yes
Tires Yes

Other materials that the institution includes in its waste diversion efforts:

Car Batteries
Construction Materials
Electronic Waste
Inert Materials
Latex Paints
Polystyrene Foam (During portions of the baseline and reporting years)
Prescription Drugs

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.