Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.19
Liaison John Pumilio
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colgate University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.94 / 8.00 John Pumilio
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 142.22 Tons 48.75 Tons
Materials composted 36.40 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 32.50 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 845.38 Tons 1,057 Tons
Total waste generated 1,056.50 Tons 1,105.75 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 June 1, 2004 May 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):

Our baseline was established during the 2004-5 fiscal year because that is the time when accurate records were first kept.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,437 2,561
Number of employees resident on-site 4 7
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 2,865 2,811
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 962 946
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 3,480.50 3,459.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.30 Tons 0.32 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 Yes
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) Yes

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

We recycle all electronic waste generated on campus. This includes large items (TVs, monitors, computers, etc.) as well as small items (cables/cords, batteries, phones, laptops, etc.).

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) :

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 have custom-designed recycling stations that serve as our campus standard. These stations have a hole for containers, a slot for paper, and a larger opening for trash. This reduces contamination rates.

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:

Colgate participates in Recyclemania each year for 8 weeks. Each year, over 600 colleges and universities challenge each other to reduce waste, increase recycling, and raise general awareness of sustainability issues on campus. During recyclemania, we collect and weigh all landfill trash and all recyclables on a weekly basis. We then compare our totals to previous years and with peer institutions across the country.

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

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

We limit the minimum purchase order to $50 (up from $35). This reduces overall deliveries and packaging. We are working with our office supplier to right-size packaging on office supply orders.

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

Colgate operates a Salvage and Surplus program that takes and refurbishes all office supplies, furniture (desks, closets, tables, etc.), and electronic devices (computers, televisions, printers, digital projectors, etc.) for reuse or recycle on campus or resale through public auction. http://www.colgate.edu/offices-and-services/purchasing/salvagesurplus

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):

During the 13 Days of Green event, there is a clothing swap on campus. Students donate clothes they no longer wish to wear and they can go to the swap and find "new" clothing of their own.

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):

We installed print-release stations throughout Colgate's public printing areas. Students/employees must now release their print jobs before printing happens. This has saved many thousands of sheets of paper annually. We also default double-sided printing for all public printing stations. These measures and increased use of digital formats and public awareness about wasteful printing has resulted in nearly a 50 percent reduction in the amount of paper we are consuming as a university since 2009. In real numbers, this a over 2.5 million sheets of paper saved every year.

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:

We have all of our course catalogs, schedules and directories online and no longer make hard copies of our directories.

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

At the end of each academic year, COVE volunteers tour residence halls and apartments on campus to salvage unwanted and donated materials for local charitable organizations.

Volunteers collect, sort, and organize items for local non-profits to “shop” — at no cost — for items needed to cover their core functions and services.

Last year, items included food, clothing, furniture, bedding, kitchen utensils, books, and toiletries. The 47 student, staff, and faculty volunteers combined to spend more than 470 hours collecting and sorting the items in Starr Hockey Rink for pickup by 30 non-profit organizations located throughout Central New York.

The estimated value of all salvaged items put into the hands of people who need them amounted to $23,000. The organizations we work with for this program report that the individuals they serve receive much-needed supplies to furnish transitional housing, provide warm clothing and bedding and educational materials, and stock the food pantry shelves for our neighbors.

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

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

Landfill Waste:
Our landfill waste data goes back to 2007. A trendline gave us an estimate of 1,057 tons in 2005.

Our recycling data is collected during the 10-week RecycleMania competition and goes back to 2009. A trendline gave us an estimate of 15,000 lbs of recyclables during the competition for 15,000. We extrapolated this for the year and came up with a total of 97,500 lbs (48.75 tons) in 2005.

We used the same approach in 2016 and extrapolated our RecycleMania data for the year. This resulted in 339,300 lbs (169.65 tons) of recyclables in 2016.

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.