Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.90
Liaison Deborah Steinberg
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2021

STARS v2.2

Carnegie Mellon University
IN-49: Innovation C

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Dawn Roerink
Assistant Director of Custodial & Grounds of FMCS
Facilities Management and Campus Services
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Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Recycling monitoring during 2021 Campus Race to Zero Waste

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:
Carnegie Mellon University waste/recycling monitoring, reduces services during 2021 Campus Race to Zero Waste (CR2ZW) and earns a big cost savings.

Remote learning for the spring semester during the 2021 CR2ZW contest created an opportunity to closely monitor our waste and recycling service collection process with focus on the operations process, instead of centering on education and waste reduction behaviors.

Typically, our campus concentrates on building capacity for trash and recycling, due to the greatly reduced population from the Covid-19 pandemic we were faced with a set of new challenges for waste and recycling service management.

Pre-scheduled roll off contractor service was cancelled and changed to an ‘on call’ service and monitored once per week. However, the commercial dumpster service was more difficult to gauge, so we started initially by cutting the service in half. Prior to the CR2ZW we created a daily log for monitoring all of the outdoor site locations and dumpster fullness levels. This log provided us with a means to manage the rotations. Custodial Services managed the actual daily visual observations and completed a daily log which was forwarded to Staff for scheduling the full container rotation service. We used the log for all waste and recycling during the CR2ZW competition and found we eliminated unnecessary service rotations.

At the onset of the pandemic we cut the commercial dumpster service in half and roll off service to ‘on call’. With the reduction of the winter term population, in January 2021 we developed the Daily Log and implemented the process on February 4th 2021. We observed the fullness of the containers and managed the number of service rotations of the commercial waste and recycling dumpsters. After making some minor adjustments to the log we initiated the 1st rotation service adjustment on March 3, 2021.

We utilized existing services and created an opportunity to retain employment of a Custodial Service Porter for half day to drive to all campus locations and complete the daily log. A Staff member then took the log information and recorded for use in monitoring and scheduling any needed service rotations.

After the adjustments implemented March 3rd, we recorded a 41% reduction overall and a savings of an additional $5k per month that we could realize over the next 5 months. With the cost savings we were able to purchase 5 new Bigbelly double station units and more composting bins for our dining halls.

As we are planning for fall 2021 and 90% faculty, staff, and student occupancy levels, we see opportunities in the future to use the log as a tool in a normal environment. Moving forward, we will use our daily log to review the entire waste-recycling scheduling removal service.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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