Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 81.34
Liaison Mary Whitney
Submission Date Nov. 26, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Chatham University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.50 / 8.00 Mary Whitney
University Sustainability Coordinator
Office of 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 28.89 Tons 10.94 Tons
Materials composted 297.27 Tons 23.06 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 1,751 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 2.85 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 417.39 Tons 244.57 Tons
Total waste generated 2,497.40 Tons 278.57 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility, including affirmation that materials are sorted prior to conversion to recover recyclables and compostable materials:
We send our used cooking oils to Buffalo Biodiesel and Fossil Free Fuel so that it can be turned into biodiesel.

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Jan. 1, 2017 Dec. 31, 2017
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2005 Dec. 31, 2005

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):
The baseline was carried over from the previous STARS assessment. 2005 was the required year at that time.

Note that for this credit's performance year, the number of employees includes 800 employees of our tenants at our Eastside Campus, as their waste and recycling is inseparable from ours. We did not own Eastside in 2005, so we did not have tenant numbers in the baseline.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 583 400
Number of employees resident on-site 14 2
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 17 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 1,525 1,136
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 1,160 406
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 414 0
Weighted campus users 1,869.50 1,257

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 1.34 Tons 0.22 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) No
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:
Computers and peripherals, furniture (most recently tables from seminar rooms that have been upgraded).

Batteries: 575 pounds

Food rescue: 1751 pounds

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) :
0 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:
We had moved to a clear bag system to allow faster determination of contaminated materials before going to the recycling center (to avoid contaminating an entire roll-off). The contamination rate is estimated, not weighed. Our waste and recycling haulers have all recently banned any bags, so we are working on some new ways to manage this. With the unsettled recycling market in 2018, we may need to take a wait-and-see-what-they'll do" approach.

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:
With an increase in the student body, contamination has increased so we have new signs and training with food service employees. Our visual unofficial assessments of contamination showed what appears to be an increase in contamination. We are developing an intensive on recycling for the upcoming school year, to try and establish good habits at the beginning.

A brief description of the institution's waste audits and other initiatives to assess its materials management efforts and identify areas for improvement:
The Sustainability Office employs a waste coordinator at the graduate associate level. This person is responsible for visual checks of bins around all campuses, an annual inventory of bins (condition, placement, signage, etc.) as well as conducting periodic audits of problem areas, and working with the Eco-rep program to develop interventions.

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste (e.g. by minimizing packaging and purchasing in bulk):
This is very difficult at our scale, as we do not have loading docks, and rarely meet large order cutoffs for specialized packaging.

A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:
The Office Supply Exchange is a joint project of the Ricoh Copy Center and the Office of Sustainability. Each of our three campus locations has a cupboard that is stocked with surplus paper, labels, folders, office organizers, etc. These materials are free to all students, staff, and faculty.

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):
We have give and take boxes at multiple sites open to mainly students where anything can be exchanged (mainly clothes, small household goods like lamps, and school/office supplies). Residence Life staff and Housekeeping monitor the boxes, and if a box is full and little new exchange has been happening, it is donated to a local thrift store.

We also maintain a lending library wardrobe of interview clothing, supplied by donations from faculty and staff.

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):
Each student is allowed to print 300 pages per semester. The number of pages that a student has printed is tracked through their student username when they log onto the network. Any additional pages that a student needs may be printed for a small fee per page. All printers on campus are set to automatically print double-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:
Chatham University uses a Moodle as the web-based Learning Management System. Professors upload materials for their courses on Moodle for students to view, download, submit, or to discuss information. Professors are to use Moodle for all papers distributed to the students including syllabi.

Chatham University posts all documents and forms online on the intranet for campus departments including the business office, registrar, and academic affairs. Our Human Resources Department transitioned to entirely electronic forms to eliminate paper. If a student needs a form, he or she can fill it out on the computer and email it to the necessary department without any paper being used. All documents and forms can be accessed on the myChatham network.

A brief description of the institution's program to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:
Recycling opportunities are available for students in areas with designated bins for food, clothing, and school supplies. The housekeeping department makes special pick-ups of cardboard recycling during this time.

At move-out, unused shelf-stable food is collected and picked up by 412 Food Rescue for distribution.

Through the Office of Residence Life (ORL), the university encourages a socially responsible clean up during move-out. E-mailed newsletters and announcements at residence hall meetings are utilized to educate the student population about the donation bins provided for food, clothing and school supplies. The ORL staff reviews the contents of the bins as well as any items left behind in the rooms.

A brief description of the institution's programs or initiatives to recover and reuse other materials intended for disposal:
We send our used cooking fat from the dining halls to be converted into biodiesel, and we donate all of old working computers to a local senior center computer donation program or the local Goodwill computer center. We also donate our furniture and lab equipment when we are getting new replacements, but that is very rare - we try to "use it up, wear it out" for most durable goods. We do not always have good data for the furniture donations, so have marked it as 0 in this credit, but we do continue to donate when possible.
We recycle CDs, ink cartridges, small electronics, phones (which go to veteran's or women's shelters) and batteries.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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.