Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.55
Liaison Susan Powers
Submission Date Feb. 22, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Clarkson University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.80 / 8.00 Alex French
Sustainability Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 187 Tons 107.27 Tons
Materials composted 20 Tons 0 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 655 Tons 645 Tons
Total waste generated 872 Tons 752.27 Tons

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

Weight included under "composting" includes Pre-consumer food waste from campus food services and some post-consumer FW from apartments and department offices are diverted to an anaerobic digester that we have on campus.
Materials donated or resold are estimated based on Facilities yard sale and Take it or Leave it campaigns

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2017 June 30, 2018
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 June 30, 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):

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

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,284 2,172
Number of employees resident on-site 3 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 1 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 4,367 3,095
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 797 567
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 407 50
Weighted campus users 4,140.50 3,252

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.21 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
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:

Annual Take it or leave it program at the end of the spring semester used to collect and donate goods that students don't want to take home.
Facilities and Services department has an annual campus "garage sale" for campus furniture, appliances and other goods no longer needed
Staff regularly use a campus listserve to share information about surplus goods in their unit that can be redistributed for use by other units.
None of the weights of materials transferred in these systems are accurately quantified.

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) :
10 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:

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:

We have printed stickers of commonly found recyclable materials and landfill materials on campus. These stickers have gone on all bins in hallways and other common areas.
All freshmen students receive a half page hand out with information about correct waste sorting at Clarkson.
Posters specific for move-in waste are put up on dumpsters in the Fall
All new employees participate ion a recycle sorting activity as part of their orientation..

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

Our solid waste hauler provides monthly accounts of trash and recycle pick ups by building. Occasional audits of waste in the student center are carried out by ISE staff and students.

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

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

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

Offices are invited to participate in the annual "take it or leave it" event even though the primary audience for this are the students moving out. We offer to pick up office supplied and transport them to our central tent.
In our facilities building we have a large storage space with surplus office supplies.

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 an email forum called "CU Discussion" which is used to exchange department supplies.

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):

Students have a limit to the amount they're allowed to print each semester. It is worth $25 with different rates applied to different products (colored pages are more than black and white). Students who print more than this allowance provides are charged per copy

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:

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 the institution's program 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 program has grown in popularity each each This allowed students to donate materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill. at a conveniently located pop-up tent near each residence hall. There is a centralized tent where these materials are brought. Clarkson community and the larger Potsdam community is invited to come and take materials from this large tent.

During move-in We coordinate workers to be stationed at the freshman hall dumpsters to teach incoming students about sorting and to ensure that there is space in our recycling dumpster to accomodate for the large amount of cardboard waste we receive on that day.

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

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.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support 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.