Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.06
Liaison Margaret Bounds
Submission Date June 18, 2021

STARS v2.2

Connecticut College
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
4.88 / 8.00 Margaret Bounds
Assistant Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 111.12 Tons 250.57 Tons
Materials composted 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 0.21 Tons 5.86 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 218.18 Tons 373.19 Tons
Total waste generated 329.51 Tons 629.62 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility:
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Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Period July 1, 2019 June 30, 2020
Baseline Period July 1, 2016 June 30, 2017

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

For our initial STARS report in 2018 we adopted 2015 as the baseline year for our first submission in because it was the earliest year with complete recycling information available. However, we have expanded the scope of our data collection to include donations and food waste, so are updating our baseline year to 2017 to provide a more complete comparison to the performance year. 2017 is also the baseline year used for tracking our waste goal in our Annual Sustainability Reports, so this update will provide consistency with our internal tracking.


Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 1,245.53 1,928
Number of employees resident on-site 14 27
Number of other individuals resident on-site 7 34
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 1,833 1,995
Full-time equivalent of employees 682.30 776
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 2,208.36 2,601

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.15 Tons 0.24 Tons

Percentage reduction in total waste generated per weighted campus user from baseline:
38.36

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator by recycling, composting, donating or re-selling, performance year:
33.79

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator (including up to 10 percent attributable to post-recycling residual conversion):
33.79

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 No
Cooking oil Yes
Plant materials No
Animal bedding No
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Electronics Yes
Laboratory equipment No
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets No
Tires Yes
Other (please specify below) No

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

Pre and post consumer food waste is collected from our campus dining halls and is used for animal feed at a local pig farm. We do not receive reports on the weight collected, so this has not been included. We estimate it to be 80-100 tons per year.


Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year:
2 Tons

Does the institution use single stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:
Yes

Does the institution use dual stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:
No

Does the institution use multi-stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:
No

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program:
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A brief description of any recycling quality control mechanisms employed:
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A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives:

All recycling and trash bins are paired for ease of disposal and bins are standardized across campus. Standard recycling signage has been developed by a student Waste Reduction Team and has been installed in two buildings. The Office of Sustainability holds sustainability trainings each semester for students and upon request for departments. We participate in RecycleMania and throughout run a program called "Caught Green Handed." Students are "caught" on campus recycling or minimizing waste through reusables and are given a sticker and profiled on our social media.


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

Waste audits on our student center have been completed each semester since 2017 (with a pause during the Covid-19 pandemic). These regular waste audits have allowed us to measure the effectiveness of our new signage and of recycling trainings and programming.


A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste:
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A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

The Office of Sustainability Waste Reduction Team has run an Office Swap Program for surplus office supplies and furniture since January 2016. Student collect unwanted items from offices, post them in a catalogue on our e-procurement platform CTW OneSource, and then re-distribute the supplies to other offices across campus. The catalog of available items is located in the College's online purchasing portal, so requests for items can be placed alongside regular office supply orders.


A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse:

ConnColl Freecycle is a listserv open to the campus community to exchange personal items (clothing, electronics, children's things, etc.) and/or work-related items (office supplies, furniture, etc).


A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption:

Each student is provided with a $30 allocation of printing funds per academic school year. After this initial amount, students must pay for each page printed. Departments pay for printing through the college-wide PaperCut system. Double-sided printing is cheaper than single-sided in an effort to encourage this practice. A policy limiting the use of personal desktop printers was adopted in summer 2020 and most personal desktop printers have now been removed from faculty and staff offices.


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

The course catalog has been available only online since the 2012-2013 academic year. The Board of Trustees are provided with a digital version of their meeting packet instead of printed binders.


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

At the end of each spring semester, the Spring Give N' Go Program allows for students to donate unwanted clothing, furniture, electronics, books and non perishable food items as they move out of their residence halls. Donated items are made available to local non-profits at an "Agency Pick-Up Day" co-run by the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut and Safe Futures.


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

Office furniture that is no longer wanted, but is in reusable condition, is collected by our Utility Crew and stored on campus for redistribution. Faculty or staff needing new furniture are able to request specific items or browse what is available in the storage space.


Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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We recognize that the data for this credit has been strongly impacted by the campus closure in mid-March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We have decided to report on FY2020 for all of our credits to maintain consistency in reporting. We had seen a decline in waste prior to the closure, but we did have 3 months of much less waste than would be typical in this fiscal year.

The number of students resident onsite for our performance year (FY2020) was modified to take into account the campus closure on March 15 due to Covid 19. A weighted average was calculated assuming we had 1,699 students onsite for 29 weeks (August 26-March 15) and 50 students onsite for 11 weeks (March 15-May 30).

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.