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-23: Waste Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.50 / 3.00 Carol Dollard
Energy Engineer
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Materials diverted from the solid waste landfill or incinerator:
14,617 Tons

Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator :
2,914.50 Tons

A brief description of programs, policies, infrastructure investments, outreach efforts, and/or other factors that contributed to the diversion rate, including efforts made during the previous three years:

CSU has had an institutional commitment to recycling for decades, with programs such as Cardboard Corral where residence hall students can recycle their cardboard moving boxes on move in day (in 2014, 21 tons were recycled in 5 days) and participation in Recyclemania.


A brief description of any food donation programs employed by the institution:

Colorado State donates thousands of pounds a year of food from the dining centers to the Larimer County Food Bank. In 2012, More than 65,375 pounds of food was donated by the Dining Centers and Pingree Park Mountain Campus donated just Over 900 pounds. Non-perishable food donations are also collected from students as part of the Leave It Behind program at the end of the academic year.


A brief description of any pre-consumer food waste composting program employed by the institution:

Pre-consumer food waste is collected at the dining centers and the bake shop.

Housing & Dining Services in 2011 invested in a state of the art, fully-automated composting system called the Earth Flow. This enclosed, 30‐yard capacity compost bin is located on the CSU Foothills Campus (three miles west of main campus). Pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste from CSU Dining Centers is composted in the Earth Flow. The Earth Flow accepts up to 2,000 pounds of material per day. Organic waste is loaded into one end of the vessel by placing the collection container on an automated tipper. Every time food waste is added, bulking material like straw, wood chips, and horse manure from the equine center is added at a 1:2 ratio. Material is composted for about four to six weeks inside the vessel. Finished compost is discharged through an end door of the vessel. The compost is piled on site to cure for at least 3-4 weeks before being used in landscaping projects on campus such as Braiden Hall and The Durrell Center renovations. Over 30 yards of compost were used on these projects as a soil amendment.

In 2013, the CSU Earth Flow Composter diverted over 300,000 pounds of food waste from the landfill. In the first half of 2014, CSU composted over 100,000 pounds of material.


A brief description of any post-consumer food waste composting program employed by the institution:

Pulpers installed at Ram’s Horn, Braiden, And Durrell dining center mix all of the food and paper waste with water, and then grind up the material. This slurry is then taken by pipe to a centrifuge, which removes excess water and recycles it through the system. The pulped organic waste is emptied into collection containers outside the building. This pulped material is perfect for composting because it is already broken down into small pieces. The pulpers have helped reduce the waste stream in the dining halls by up to 70% and reduced water use by 80%.


Does the institution include the following materials in its waste diversion efforts?:
Yes or No
Paper, plastics, glass, metals, and other recyclable containers Yes
Food donations Yes
Food for animals Yes
Food composting Yes
Cooking oil Yes
Plant materials composting Yes
Animal bedding composting Yes
Batteries Yes
Light bulbs Yes
Toner/ink-jet cartridges 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
Motor oil Yes
Tires Yes

Other materials that the institution includes in its waste diversion efforts:

Surplus property captures a broad variety of materials leaving campus & diverts them by redistributing, reselling, recycling & repurposing. While they do not have a scale at their facility, the weights of the items were generated from a detailed list of all the items processed in FY14.


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.