Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 58.96
Liaison Stephanie Corbett
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Case Western Reserve University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.32 / 8.00 Erin Kollar
Assistant Director Sustainability
Office of Energy & Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 525 Tons 308.80 Tons
Materials composted 300 Tons 5 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 10 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 2,084 Tons 1,795 Tons
Total waste generated 2,919 Tons 2,108.80 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility, including affirmation that materials are sorted prior to conversion to recover recyclables and compostable materials:

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2016 June 30, 2017
Baseline Year July 1, 2011 June 30, 2012

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted (e.g. in sustainability plans and policies or in the context of other reporting obligations):

We selected FY 11-12 as our baseline year because it is the first year that we have what we believe to be the most complete data available, comparable to the performance year.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 4,017 2,881
Number of employees resident on-site 24 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 7 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 10,820 9,636
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 4,501 6,026
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 282 0
Weighted campus users 12,296.50 12,466.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.24 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
Laboratory equipment Yes
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets Yes
Tires Yes
Other (please specify below) No

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

CWRU has a program whereby our onsite food vendor composts pre-consumer food scraps at our University farm. Our University grounds department also composts all brush, grass, branches and clippings from campus.

Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year (e.g. materials that are actively diverted from the landfill or incinerator and refurbished/repurposed) :
2 Tons

Does the institution use single stream recycling (a single container for commingled recyclables) to collect standard recyclables (i.e. paper, plastic, glass, metals) in common areas?:

Does the institution use dual stream (two separate containers for recyclables, e.g. one for paper and another for plastic, glass, and metals) to collect standard recyclables (i.e. paper, plastic, glass, metals) in common areas?:

Does the institution use multi-stream recycling (multiple containers that further separate different types of materials) to collect standard recyclables (i.e. paper, plastic, glass, metals) in common areas?:

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program (percentage, 0-100):

A brief description of any recycling quality control mechanisms employed, e.g. efforts to minimize contamination and/or monitor the discard rates of the materials recovery facilities and mills to which materials are diverted:

The MRF that we send our materials to has provided us with the 10% figure as their contamination rate overall.

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives, e.g. initiatives to shift individual attitudes and practices such as signage and competitions:

CWRU participates annually in RecycleMania and uses the competition as an opportunity to benchmark and educate students, staff, faculty and visitors of recycling practices. This is done through signage, bulletin boards, table tents, presentations to individual business units or offices, and other initiatives. Currently, the Office for Sustainability has Student Ambassadors working on programs to revamp the recycling programs within our greek housing through personalized education outreach and system analysis, compost pilot programs with waste station volunteers in several cafeterias, and freecycle and move-out programs with education on reuse of household goods and clothing, as well as other things.

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

Each year during RecycleMania, the Office for Sustainability and the Student Sustainability Council partner to hold waste sorts on campus. We are currently planning two waste audits for cafeterias on campus to determine our food waste and potential post-consumer compostable material volumes. We have recently toured all of our food vendor's kitchens recycling practices and created new signage and programs to increase collection of recyclables in those spaces. A weeklong collection event was held at the student dining halls to determine the weight of post-consumer food waste that could be composted in anticipation of a pilot program later this semester, and a full compost collection program in student dining halls in fall of 2018. The Student Sustainability Council is piloting a new Sustainable Student Orgs program to identify ways to reduce waste and environmental impacts of student orgs on campus.

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste (e.g. by minimizing packaging and purchasing in bulk):

The procurement and facilities department has invested in equipment for refilling bottles of cleaning solutions from a bulk refilling station to reduce the number of bottles that are purchased and disposed of.

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

Procurement and distribution services and residential housing maintain exchanges and/or surplus donation programs within CWRU and to other non-profits. The Office for Sustainability frequently is contacted with items that are available for reuse or donation, and have good relationships with area nonprofits who come to campus to pick up as needed. Thwing center, a central building on campus, has taken it upon themselves to collect unwanted furniture items from across campus for an annual sale held each June.

A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse (e.g. of electronics, furnishings, books and other goods):

There is a Facebook page open to all CWRU community members for trading and resale of goods. There is also a webpage for the same purpose hosted by the University. The Office for Sustainability Student Ambassadors have hosted freecycle events and are creating materials to educate RA's on freecycle events to encourage residence halls to hold individual free cycle events.

A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption (e.g. restricting free printing and/or mandating doubled-sided printing in libraries and computer labs):

Registered, degree-seeking, undergraduate students are credited $20 per semester for printing using a WEPA printing program through the Student Affairs Division (per page costs vary: $.07/pg BW 1-sided, $.13/pg BW 2-sided, $.49/pg color 1-sided, $.78/pg color 2-sided).

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to make materials (e.g. course catalogs, course schedules, and directories) available online by default rather than printing them:

CWRU defaults for the course catalog (called the General Bulletin), schedule of classes, university directory, and student handbooks are to have them available for free online.

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

Each spring, the Office for Sustainability, Residence Life, and Housing collaborate to hold REScycle. Students can place unwanted electronics, clothes, non-perishable food, furnishings, etc. that otherwise would have gone into the waste stream in gaylords located in every residence hall starting during reading days before final exams. The materials are then sorted and either donated to local non-profits for re-use/resale, or recycled. During move-in, all corrugated cardboard that is not stored for re-use is collected, baled and recycled.

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

CWRU collects Styrofoam coolers used for packaging and shipping chemicals and other rigid Styrofoam for recycling. Unfortunately, our old vendor has stopped collecting Styrofoam, but we continue to collect it and store it while seeking a new vendor.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The number included for materials reused, donated or resold is not a complete number for either our baseline year or the performance year. While there have always been some programs on campus to handle surplus items, they have not always been tracked. The performance year represents waste that was donated via our end-of-year move-out REScycle program and a low estimate of our other furniture donations, but is not a complete picture. Items donated outside that program are not currently tracked. We are seeking a more reliable way to track and donate surplus items. CWRU is also currently in the process of seeking a new waste and recycling vendor who will allow us to transition to a single-stream recycling process.

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.