Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.29
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date March 23, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Colorado State University
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
4.21 / 5.00 Carol Dollard
Energy Engineer
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,006.65 Tons 137.90 Tons
Materials composted 45.90 Tons 0 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 2,914.50 Tons 10,479.60 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 6,443 4,813
Number of residential employees 603 10
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 24,888.04 19,404.97
Full-time equivalent of employees 6,521 3,990
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 3,218 0

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2013 June 30, 2014
Baseline Year July 1, 1991 June 30, 1992

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

CSU has a long history of sucess in promoting recycling. FY92 was chosen as a baseline year to accurately reflect the reductions in waste & gains in recycling & compost made on campus. FY92 was the first year for which there is accurate data for waste streams on campus.


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

The university conducts a waste audit every year in conjunction w/ RecycleMania. An entire truckload of trash is dumped on the plaza and volunteers (students & staff) sort it to better understand what is still in our waste stream. Specific weights are gathered to record what percentage of materials in the trash could have been recycled, composted, or donated.


A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:
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A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

Surplus Property, an institution on campus, is responsible for the handling and disposition of all property that the University no longer has a use for.  Their main objective is to provide an opportunity for the reallocation of still-usable items from one area of the University to other areas that have a need for them.  In addition, an outlet for the disposal of property that the University no longer has a use for is provided either through weekly walk-in sales to the public, vehicle auctions and surplus auctions as needed, or recycling for items that no longer have a market value. Unfortunately, Surplus Property has no mechanism to weigh items moved through their facility. As a result, those numbers are not included above.


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

The University uploads almost everything from policy handbooks, to maps, to course catalogs online. Printed materials are only produced upon request and at a fee. Some materials, such as the (sizeable) course catalog, are no longer available in print.


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

All printing labs set limits on printing per student except for the main library where students must pay for individual printing. The exact limits are defined by the colleges each semester.


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

In an effort to divert solid waste from the landfills, unwanted items are collected by CSU's Integrated Solid Waste Department, the Live Green Team, and the Eco Leaders during residence hall move out. Items collected include clothing, shoes, towels, dishes, lamps, desks, couches, coffee pots, plants, and more. The program, called "Leave it Behind" collects more than 20 tons of items that are then sold in a community sale during Ram Orientation in the summer to encourage incoming students to bring used items rather than purchasing new. The proceeds help support the Eco Leaders Program.

In Spring 2014, we piloted a program to make Leave It Behind available to off campus students as well as on campus students. There are plans to expand efforts for off campus students next year.


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

During Move-In each year, the Eco Leaders host Cardboard Corrals to collect boxes during move-in, most of which would be thrown away without this very visible collection program. In Fall 2014, more than 21 tons of boxes were collected for recycling.


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

Once each semester the Green Guard and the Eco Leaders conduct a plate waste audit in all of the dining centers on campus to track the amount of plate waste per student. An educational campaign and display is used to help engage students.


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

All on campus dining centers are tray-free.

Over 11,000 meals are served every day in CSU dining centers. Not washing and sanitizing over 50,000 trays per week saves an estimated 195,000 gallons of water every month in addition to a reduction in dish-washing chemicals and energy usage.

Trays of prepared food that are not served at the end of each meal period are donated to the Larimer County Food Bank. In 2013, over 60,000 pounds of food were donated.


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):

Free Rental Rubbermaid containers are available at all dining facilities. Students can check the Rubbermaid containers out at any dining center and return them dirty. Housing and Dining Services takes care of cleaning and restocking them.

All to-go products are compostable, from a local company called Eco-Products. This includes everything from the compartment food containers, to-go cups, lids, straws, silverware, etc. CSU also provides composting bins in two locations to collect to-go containers and close the loop. The compostable to-go containers are fed through the pulper, which collects all food waste, paper waste and some cardboard from the dining center. The materials from the pulper are taken to an in-vessel composter on the Foothills Campus (three miles west of main campus). The finished compost is returned to campus for use in campus landscaping projects. The composting rate for the dining centers was 92% in FY14.


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):

All dining centers on campus use reusable service ware for dine-in meals.

All to-go meal containers can be returned to two locations to be composted as part of our robust composting program.


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:

Housing and Dining Express counters offer reusable mug discounts along with select on-campus franchises such as Carl's Junior.


A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

We recognize that it is considered a best practice to use the same base line year for waste minimization, GHG emissions, energy consumption, and water use. As an institution that has been engaging in waste minimization efforts for over two decades, our baseline year of 1992 accurately reflects our efforts and gains in this area whereas records for other areas like GHG emissions, energy consumption, and water use data have evolved more recently.

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.