Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.57
Liaison Juliana Goodlaw-Morris
Submission Date Dec. 18, 2020

STARS v2.2

California State University, San Marcos
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 6.08 / 8.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 407 Tons 1,363 Tons
Materials composted 6 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 59 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 593 Tons 399 Tons
Total waste generated 1,065 Tons 1,762 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 July 1, 2018 June 30, 2019
Baseline Period July 1, 2013 June 30, 2014

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted:
The baseline was chosen as this is a plateau period for building additions.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 652 620
Number of employees resident on-site 2 3
Number of other individuals resident on-site 3 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 13,714 8,938
Full-time equivalent of employees 1,402.50 1,118
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 426 0
Weighted campus users 11,184.38 7,697.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.10 Tons 0.23 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 Yes
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:
Any item that is usable but no longer wanted by the campus is either sold via public surplus or donated to charity. We have a strong relationship with a charity that collects items and distributes them to schools in Mexico. This provides us the opportunity to donate items that local charities would most likely not accept. We also donate trash and recycle bins to this charity to encourage proper disposal in their schools as well.

3 ring binders are disassembled to recycle the cardboard and metal parts.
VHS tapes & similar materials are disassembled into recyclable parts.
Cigarette butts are sent to TerraCycle, the tobacco is used for compost material and the filter is used to make plastic furniture.

Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year:
3 Tons

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:
Student assistants routinely conduct waste audits to help determine any areas that need additional education requirements (for example electronic waste, batteries). In coordination with our waste hauler we conduct a campus wide waste characterization study each semester. One semester is focused on landfill waste to determine areas where additional education is needed and areas upstream to develop reduction programs. The second semester is focused on recycle material to determine contaminates, which was mainly plastic bags.

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives:
Our recycling program evolved into a zero waste program to encourage our campus community to shift the focus from after the fact recycling to more forward thinking on how to make more sustainable purchases, making re-use more commonplace, reducing single-use plastic items. As promotional program efforts we give away re-usable metal straws, grocery bags made from plastic bottles, water bottles made from recycled plastic as examples. At move-out we collect household items and provide items to new residents at move-in to encourage re-use and provide a sustainable experience from the very beginning of their college career.

A brief description of the institution's waste audits and other initiatives to assess its materials management efforts and identify areas for improvement:
Student assistants routinely conduct waste audits on a weekly basis. Additionally, twice a year our waste hauler performs a formal waste audit. We alternate waste streams (recycle vs trash) to review both annually. One day of waste is collected from the entire campus then taken to their facility for inspection, pictures and evaluation for program improvement.

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste:
An environmentally preferable purchasing policy is in place. Additionally, our supplier for office supplies has an automated sustainable exchange program in place.

A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:
The University is expected to dispose of usable equipment in a responsible manner under the guidance of Property Surplus. This is done via transfers on campus, to other universities, public sales, donations, recycling and salvage of parts.

For the CSU Administration of University Property Equipment Procedures, please visit: https://www.csus.edu/administration-business-affairs/internal/procurement-contracts/_internal/_documents/3150-01-university-property-equipment-procedures.pdf

The University steps for moving to zero waste are: 1)the use of products that minimize the volume of trash sent to landfill or incinerators; 2) participation in the CalRecycle Buy-Recycled program or equivalent; and (3) increasing recycled content purchases in all BuyRecycled program product categories.

For the CSU Sustainability Policy, please visit: https://calstate.policystat.com/policy/6987526/latest/

For the CSU Buy Recycled Program, please visit: http://www.calstate.edu/csp/special-programs/

Surplus items are sold through a public auction website. Items of low value, such as lab glassware, are occasionally donated to our local school district for their use. Surplus office and classroom furniture as a standard policy is reused whenever possible. We host several tabling efforts on campus to offer used office supplies to our campus community while providing education about our zero waste program efforts. Any usable items not suitable to campus use are donated.

A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse:
Our student groups have started hosting free exchange tabling events to encourage reuse of clothing, shoes and small household items. It is a very successful each time and we hope to host more. Additionally, as part of our move-in tabling efforts when we placed household items from move-in, the residents took the initiative to bring out their own unwanted items to share with others.

A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption:
While there are no limits on consumption, the campus community is encouraged to only print when necessary and to print double sided whenever possible. Student printing in a variety of locations is limited to 10 pages per day.

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to make materials available online by default rather than printing them:
Campus catalogs are available online. Staff is encouraged to print only when necessary.

A brief description of the institution's program to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:
In coordination with resident dorms and our waste hauler we made a vast improvement in recycling their waste during move-in/move-out. Previously all the waste was landfilled but with education and cost saving incentives from our waste hauler, the residents and staff divert over 2 tons of material from the landfill.

Prior to move-out we post signs in the trash rooms to remind residents to save their boxes for move-out and to donate non-perishable food to the campus food pantry. We also collect boxes from campus and provide them to students to use instead of having to purchase new.

As in previous years, clothing, furniture and appliances are donated to Goodwill. Non-perishable food is collected and donated to our on campus food pantry. Household items (dishes, pans, silverware, hangers) were collected and stored over summer break, then made available at move-in to new residents for free.

A brief description of the institution's programs or initiatives to recover and reuse other materials intended for disposal:
We are fortunate enough to work with a waste hauler that provides service to divert green waste, CDI (construction, demolition and inert material) and metal (including wiring) from our waste stream. We place a separate container in our Arts building to specifically collect any wood waste to ensure it goes in our CDI container. We also have programs in place to collect and properly dispose of e-waste. We collaborated with local schools to provide pallets for their woodworking classes, when that program ended we began selling the pallets to a local vendor so they could continue to be used rather than disposed of as CDI.

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

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.