Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.19
Liaison Ian Johnson
Submission Date July 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colorado College
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.95 / 8.00 Josh Ortiz
Landscape and Grounds Supervisor
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 237.22 Tons 445.33 Tons
Materials composted 309.20 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 479.95 Tons 904.34 Tons
Total waste generated 1,131.37 Tons 1,487.75 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 Jan. 1, 2015 Dec. 31, 2015
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2009 Dec. 31, 2009

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 developed in 2009 when the college decided to start tracking for this program.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 1,561 1,539
Number of employees resident on-site 7 20
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 2,277 1,970
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 782 620
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 2,686.25 2,332.25

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 1,026.36 Tons 1,349.67 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 No
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets Yes
Tires No
Other (please specify below) Yes

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

Colorado College does an annual drop off of batteries to BlueStar Recyclers to be recycled. This year, 738 pounds were delivered.

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) :
502.32 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:

Best Way disposable allows up to a 15% contamination rate to continue to effectively sort and recycle material, making Colorado College's average contamination rate <15%. The college is alerted if contamination rates rise over 15% and Colorado College works to address the issue accordingly.

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:

Every year, Colorado College participates in Recyclemania, a nation-wide effort to reduce waste. During this time, the Office of Sustainability puts on recycled craft nights, publicizes competition progress, and provides incentives (discounts, stickers, etc.) for students to reduce their waste. Colorado College has also implemented an interactive signage system to help sort waste properly between landfill, compost, and recyclables.

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

Colorado College routinely audits its waste stream during Recylemania, an inter-campus recycling challenge during January and March each year. Dumpsters are checked prior to pick-up by Bestway to check for plastic bags and to ensure that proper procedures are met in regards to recycling.

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

Colorado College abides by a series of "sustainable purchasing" guidelines, which are intended to help the community align purchasing decisions with the College's mission objectives. These guidelines include an intention to conserve natural resources by minimizing the consumption of non-replaceable natural resources through the review of current and proposed future usage and to minimize waste via packaging, waste produced by the product (or service), and waste generated by the eventual disposal of the product.

In addition, the Custodial Department has "Green Cleaning Policies and Procedures" document. The document includes an intention to purchase products in concentrated forms and in packaging that minimizes waste.

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

The Business/Purchasing Office holds an annual Office Supplies Swap Event.
In the interest of cost savings and sustainability, this is a way for campus departments to utilize already existing but unused supplies from other departments at no expense. Any items remaining are donated to a non-profit charity.

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):

Colorado College offers the Swap Space as an on campus thrift store which provides students with a sustainable platform to both exchange as well as donate old belongings (clothes, shoes, accessories, posters, etc.). The main goal of the Swap Space is to lessen the impacts of wasteful consumer culture.

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):

Colorado College adopted Papercut in fall of 2014. The program is a school-wide print system where people can print to any printer on campus and must swipe their Gold Card to access their paper. In just the month of November, the program saved 38,600 pages compared to previous years. The program also streamlines paper purchases, so all paper has at least 30 percent recycled content and the college can take advantage of bulk purchasing discounts. CC ordered nearly 1,000 fewer reams of paper in 2012-13 than it did in 2011-12.

Additionally, CC places default printing settings on all computers which is ensures that printing is economical and 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:

Students, staff and faculty are directed online to the course catalog. The College prints a limited number of course catalogs for the Dean's Office. Course schedules and the College directory are both available online.

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

The Colorado College Student Government Association (CCSGA) holds an annual move-out collection drive at the end of 8th block. CCSGA and other student volunteers collect unwanted items from students during move-out to donate to a local nonprofit, One Nation Walking Together. One Nation Walking Together reclaims merchandise and equipment which would otherwise go to landfills and uses it to assist with Native American community development efforts.

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

In the fall of 2015, CC installed new waste receptacles in the Worner Student Center. These receptacles clearly indicate different waste streams in order to decrease accidental waste stream contamination. The receptacles are labeled "Recycling," "Compost," and "Landfill" in order to make people more aware of where their non-recycled/non-composted waste goes. These receptacles are prototypes for campus-wide waste centers to be implemented in the future.

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

Further information about waste at Colorado College:

The numbers for waste generated in 2009 are overinflated. Up until 2013, CC reported data by volume-to-weight conversion, instead of by true weights.

The figure for employee FTE 2009 does not include temp/on-call staff, vacant positions filled by visitors, or block visitors.

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.