Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.95
Liaison Susan Powers
Submission Date Feb. 12, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Clarkson University
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.99 / 5.00 Susan Powers
Assoc. Dir. Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 161 Tons 107.27 Tons
Materials composted 13.70 Tons 0 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 5 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 485 Tons 645 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 2,479 2,172
Number of residential employees 1 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 3,711 3,095
Full-time equivalent of employees 747 567
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 147 50

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2014 June 30, 2015
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 June 30, 2005

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted:

FY2005 used as baseline year for all metrics per prior STARSA requirement

A brief description of any (non-food) waste audits employed by the institution:

A group of student volunteers hold an an annual "Trash on the Lawn Day" to audit/sort all the waste generated in the Student Center the day before. Our solid waste hauler provides monthly accounts of trash and recycle pick ups by building.

A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

bulk cleaning chemical purchase; Vendors offering take-back programs for packaging or spent products should be favored (Environmental Standards (

A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

Once a year offices have a "Take it or leave it" event where used office materials are swapped. The Facilities dept. holds an annual "Lawn Sale" to re-distribute office furniture and large supplies.

A brief description of the institution's efforts to make materials available online by default rather than printing them:

All administrative functions are handled through PeopleSoft. This includes electronic course selection, all finance aspects, etc. that are initiated and approved through PeopleSoft. Very few documents are printed and signed on paper. Many Faculty use the Moodle course management system, including electronic readings, assignments and grading electronically.

A brief description of any limits on paper and ink consumption employed by the institution:

Students have a limit to the number of copies/prints they can print each semester. This limit is in a process of decreasing as more faculty use electronic assignment submission and grading.

A brief description of any programs employed by the institution to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:

In 2015, the university partnered with the county and neighboring universities to hold a "Take it or Leave it" that lasted throughout the time that students moved off campus. This allowed students to donate materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

A brief description of any other (non-food) waste minimization strategies employed by the institution:

Lending Cupboard: The Clarkson Club collects and loans essential kitchen items and linens to incoming international students. This keeps both gently used items in use and helps to ease the transition of our international students into their new home at Clarkson.

A brief description of any food waste audits employed by the institution:

The institution separates pre consumer food waste for an anaerobic digester. Additional food waste in campus apartments is collected and weighed to feed the digester. Post-consumer food waste amounts are often checked by student groups (research or class) to evaluate additional sources of FW.

A brief description of any programs and/or practices to track and reduce pre-consumer food waste in the form of kitchen food waste, prep waste and spoilage:

Kitchen staff separate out all pre-consumer food waste and weigh it for internal quality control. Most of these materials are transported to the anaerobic digester with a plan being developed to divert waste from the remaining kitchens.

A brief description of programs and/or practices to track and reduce post-consumer food waste:

Trays are no longer readily available in any of the dining facilities to reduce on-plate waste (They can be used if requested).
We have a program for students living in on-campus apartments, as well as some departments enables them to separate food waste that is then collected by student volunteers and transported to the anaerobic digester.

A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable and/or third party certified compostable to-go containers for to-go food and beverage items (in conjunction with a composting program):

The use of compostable to-go boxes has been replaced with a preferable re-useable to-go box program through Ozzi. No composting facility available to handle compostable disposable products.
The primary campus dining hall uses entirely reusable plates, bowls, cups for dining in.

A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable service ware for “dine in” meals and reusable and/or third party certified compostable service ware for to-go meals (in conjunction with a composting program):

The primary campus dining hall uses entirely reusable service ware for dining in.

A brief description of any discounts offered to customers who use reusable containers (e.g. mugs) instead of disposable or compostable containers in to-go food service operations:

A discount is offered for people using a reusable mugs. Rather than a discount for a reusable to-go box, the university charges $0.50 for using a disposable to-go box.

A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:

One of the primary food service outlets cooks for students upon demand to reduce the preparation of food that is not selected.

The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

Materials composted included those sent to the anaerobic digester. We do not track landscaping waste materials that are all composted on-site.

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.