Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 83.20
Liaison Mina Amundsen
Submission Date Nov. 5, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colby College
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.22 / 8.00 Sandy Beauregard
Director of Sustainability
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 181.29 Tons 12 Tons
Materials composted 345.15 Tons 84.30 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 6.15 Tons 5 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 653.80 Tons 1,469 Tons
Total waste generated 1,186.39 Tons 1,570.30 Tons

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

We are using 2005 as a common baseline throughout this submission, as this was the year that the College began formally tracking data in all STARS reporting fields.


Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 1,860 1,664
Number of employees resident on-site 16 13
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 17 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 1,917 1,764
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 817 640
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 2,536.50 2,222.25

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.47 Tons 0.71 Tons

Percentage reduction in total waste generated per weighted campus user from baseline:
33.81

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator by recycling, composting, donating or re-selling, performance year:
44.89

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator (including up to 10 percent attributable to post-recycling residual conversion):
44.89

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:
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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) :
5.10 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?:
Yes

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?:
No

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?:
No

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program (percentage, 0-100):
21

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:

In January 2017, Colby switched to a Mixed Recycling system, which accepts all paper, plastics #1-7, cardboard, bottles, and cans. We anticipate that this new system will help reduce contamination rates, since we switched from a recycling system that had separate bins for trash, paper, plastic, and bottles and cans to a system with a bin for trash and a bin for all recycling.


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:

All bins on campus are clearly labeled with what type of waste the bin should be used for. On each sign, there are examples of items that are appropriate for that type of bin. All waste stations in buildings contain both a trash and recycling container. In the Student Center, there is a composting bin in addition to the trash and recycling bins, with clear signage.


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

Colby EcoReps perform waste audits in student dormitories as they see fit. They sort through the trash and recycling bins in the chosen dorm(s) and weigh all of the properly disposed of waste and the waste that was put in the wrong container to determine the contamination rate. A lot of students put recyclables into the trash that should have been in the recycling bin, so we will work more on education.


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

Although there is no formal policy or requirement, Colby often purchases in bulk, and all materials used for packaging are recycled if they can be.


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

In 2014, the Office of Sustainability and the Environmental Coalition ran the first Freecycle event, during which students, faculty, and staff donated their unwanted office supplies and clothing. Others would take any items they need and the rest is donated to local homeless shelters. This event takes place once in the fall before the end of the semester, and once in the spring around Earth Week. Additionally, there is a "Reuse Shelf" in the library where students, faculty, and staff can leave items they no longer want and others can take them as needed.


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):

Colby hosts a two Freecycle events, one in the fall and one in the spring, where students, faculty, and staff bring items they no longer want or use, including clothing, school supplies, and small dorm furniture/decorations. Students exchange what they brought for something else that they like from the event. There is also a "Reuse Shelf" in Miller Library that can be used year-round for things such as school supplies, books, and decorations.


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):

Black and white printing is free for students, and students have a $10 color printing credit per semester. Double-sided printing is the default for all College printers on campus. Additionally, many professors put PDFs for online reading and allow students to use laptops in class during discussions about those readings to eliminate the need for printing.


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:

Colby no longer prints and distributes the college directory, course catalog, or course schedules. The Student Handbook, Annual Report of the President, The Annual Report of Contributions and course registration and course evaluations are also all online. Additionally, Colby's faculty is encouraged to use Moodle, an online course management system, which allows students to view course handouts and readings online. Some professors use online textbooks, accompanied by assignments submitted online through Moodle, or other software.


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

RESCUE (Recycle Everything, Save Colby’s Usable Excess) started in 2001-02 to capture clothing, household items, furniture, appliances, and other items that departing students leave behind. Clothing and furniture are donated to local nonprofits and other items are cleaned and stored for sale the following fall, taking literally tons of material out of the waste stream for reuse. In 2003 RESCUE was named a “best management practice” by the EPA. RESCUE has about 20 student volunteers and 4 student workers who spend a week collecting the furniture, clothing, and all other goods from every dorm on campus during spring move out, and stay through Senior Week and after graduation.


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

All leaves collected through campus landscaping are composted and used on our on-campus garden. All wood chips from tree-cutting on campus is used on the many trails we have in the Arboretum and walking trails.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.