Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Tavey Capps
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Duke University
OP-23: Waste Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Tavey Capps
Environmental Sustainability Director
Office of the Executive Vice President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Materials diverted from the solid waste landfill or incinerator:
6030.03 Tons

Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator :
9480.31 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:

Duke maintains a strong commitment to helping and improving the environment through the Sanitation, Recycling, and Procurement Departments, which work closely together to promote proper waste management and reduction. These units manage solid waste and sustainability efforts at Duke while providing support for university-wide special events and routine preventative maintenance of sanitation and recycling equipment. Sanitation and Recycling also manage a composting operation to turn landscaping material into useable top soil. Taking care of the environment is an important role of Facilities Management. Through Duke Recycles, Duke traditional recyclables like magazines or aluminum from the Durham landfill every year, including many non-traditional recyclables, such as food compost, motor oil and tires. Duke Recycles collects more than 1,500 bins that contain anything from paper to glass to packing peanuts. Since 1989, Duke Recycles has offered numerous services to help create a more sustainable campus by emphasizing student and faculty and staff participation. Recycling locations can be found outside many residence halls, in Central Campus laundry areas and in university common areas. Students also have a small bucket in their rooms to collect items to carry to the nearest drop-off location. The Duke Surplus Property Program helps to divert tons of unnecessary waste from the landfill every year. All Duke-purchased property including furniture, electronics, medical equipment and supplies are collected daily and staged for donation to local non-profits and Duke Departments. Data-containing electronic items are wiped to meet Department of Defense standards, and are then primarily donated to our local school system as well as other non-profits. This donation-only business model helps to eliminate unnecessary purchases and the resources required to sell surplus property. This “no-sell” model began in 2007.


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

During shutdown periods, perishable items are donated to a local food bank. The groups that receive donations include Soup Kitchen, Caring House, Durham Rescue Mission, and Urban Ministries. Duke also engages in large scale donations to Urban Ministries before holidays and during student breaks to feed the local community in Durham. As of 2013, four large scale donations had occurred from Duke dining services to Urban Ministries, and the university hopes to increase the frequency of these donations of food waste to the community in the future.


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

Bon Appétit composts pre-consumer waste in all of the facilities on Duke University's campus. Compost bins are made readily available throughout locations for pre-consumer waste. An accurate estimate is that roughly 90% of pre-consumer food waste is composted.


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

Bon Appétit meets the criteria for this credit at all Duke University locations. Dynamic signage from the “Taste Don’t Waste” initiative instructs customers to leave all food waste and napkins on their plates when sending them to the dish room. Once in the dish room, all post-consumer food waste is composted. An estimate of about 90% of all post-consumer food waste gets composted. In addition, all garbage cans have been removed from the "All you Care to Eat" facility during these meal periods to deter customers from using them for compostable items.


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 No
Food for animals No
Food composting Yes
Cooking oil No
Plant materials composting No
Animal bedding composting No
Batteries No
Light bulbs No
Toner/ink-jet cartridges No
White goods (i.e. appliances) No
Laboratory equipment Yes
Furniture No
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets Yes
Motor oil No
Tires No

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

Materials in Recycling Rate
• Office Paper
• Newspaper
• Magazines
• Glass
• Plastic
• Aluminum
• Shredded Paper
• Steel/Tin Cans
• Scrap Metal
• Electronics
• Hard Cover Books
• Pallets
Materials in Diversion Rate
• All Recycling Rate materials
• Non-household Batteries
• Food waste for compost
• Student Move-Out
• Other items we measure by weight
(cooking oil, motor oil, etc.)


Duke is currently developing standardized tracking mechanisms for all recycling, compost, diversion, reuse, donated or re-sold materials on campus. At the time of this submission these numbers have not be finalized. The tonnages above reflect recycling (internal and contracted) as well as compost.

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.