Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 81.45
Liaison Lindsey Lyons
Submission Date March 1, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Dickinson College
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.42 / 8.00 Lindsey Lyons
Assistant Director
Center for Sustainability Education
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 215 Tons 172 Tons
Materials composted 126 Tons 98 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 541 Tons 627 Tons
Total waste generated 882 Tons 897 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 July 1, 2011 June 30, 2012

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 established by the college-wide waste working group to be our fiscal year 2012 (July 1, 2011- June 30, 2012). After a year long waste analysis and consolidation of data collection, the committee realized data gaps. Our data from 2008-2012 did not include accurate compost data and landfill and recycling invoices were missing providing an unequal comparison. Data from 2012-present has been collected in a consistent and comparable manner.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 1,987 2,155
Number of employees resident on-site 19 26
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 2,357 2,349
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 924 835
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 2,962.25 2,933.25

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.30 Tons 0.31 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 also recycle college-owned e-waste consisting of batteries, light bulbs, computers, printers and accessories.

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:

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:

Dickinson sponsors multiple events each semester focused on waste reduction and diversion. These are coordinated in conjunction with our Eco-Reps program, which strives to create a community of leaders in sustainability who in turn work to empower others to make sustainable changes in their lives and in their communities through peer education, programming, and outreach. These include anything from residence hall events and campaigns on recycling, to portion control on the dining hall, to diversion assistance from our green devil sustainability mascot.

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

Interns in the Center for Sustainability Education conduct waste audits at a campus location once per semester. Eco-Reps living and serving in a residence hall conduct was audits bi-weekly. At Dickinson, these audits are critical to initiating change and monitoring progress.

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

Dickinson makes an effort to purchase in bulk and prioritizes items that possess minimal packaging whenever possible.

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

Facilities Management has an in-house warehouse with used furniture and redistributes this furniture to departments by request. The college's inventory manages surplus inventory and fulfills requests for item exchange.

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):

Dickinson College uses CampusWall to enable members of the community to reuse goods. We were a charter member of this program and have been using since 2012.

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):

At the start of each term all enrolled students are given a Free Page Credit sufficient for printing 600 black & white pages. Color pages are the equivalent of two black & white pages. Students are charged a per page fee for pages printed beyond their Free Page Credit. This system helps to offset students’ costs for printing associated with their courses while significantly reducing waste and contributing to Dickinson’s sustainability efforts.

Please see this document for more information:

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:

Departments and divisions across the college are committed to reducing printing and increasing the availability of online forms and resources.All college announcements, payroll and student resources are online. Additionally, sustainability statements are common when printing items.

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

Students , faculty and staff donate unwanted furniture, appliances, clothes, food and school supplies in the annual U-Turn End-of-Year collection and sale that benefits the local United Way, with over $15,000 worth of sales at a community yard sale.

The Center for Sustainability hosts a two day Green Move In program where 20 student volunteers staff stations to maximize waste diversion during first year move in. This program has been done annually since 2012 with excellent results.

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

These efforts are focused primarily in our construction and demolition programs. This is an established policy for all large renovations or new construction as part of our commitment to construct to LEED Gold standards.

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

Dickinson is committed to reducing materials consumption, reusing materials, recycling and composting. We are also committed to using sustainable 'green' products. Dickinson's single-stream recycling system accepts paper, cardboard, plastics (#1-7), glass and metals in all recycling receptacles. In 2017, Dickinson increased it's diversion rate by 5% and it's total waste by nearly 60 tons and now confidently diverts 39% of our campus waste from the landfill.

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.