Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 56.54
Liaison Elaine Durr
Submission Date Feb. 19, 2020

STARS v2.2

Elon University
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.94 / 8.00 David Worden
Environmental Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 222.96 Tons 112.76 Tons
Materials composted 407.52 Tons 90 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 10 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,519.82 Tons 1,079.49 Tons
Total waste generated 2,160.30 Tons 1,282.25 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility:

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Period June 1, 2018 May 31, 2019
Baseline Period June 1, 2004 May 31, 2005

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

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 3,948 2,514
Number of employees resident on-site 21 15
Number of other individuals resident on-site 26 9
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 6,516 4,668
Full-time equivalent of employees 1,397 825
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 6,953 4,761

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.31 Tons 0.27 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 No
White goods (i.e. appliances) No
Electronics No
Laboratory equipment No
Furniture No
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal No
Pallets No
Tires No
Other (please specify below) No

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

Elon University recycles the following items but does not have weights for them: white goods, furniture, scrap metal, pallets, tires, batteries, printer cartridges, writing instruments.
Elon has an electronics recycling program, which is addressed in OP-20.
The 10 tons reported for materials donated or re-sold is lower than the actual amount because weights are not available for all of the items donated as part of the end of year move out waste reduction program, Don't Trash It.

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

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

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

Does the institution use multi-stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program:

A brief description of any recycling quality control mechanisms employed:

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives:

In Summer 2019, a Waste Reduction Intern was hired to promote waste reduction behavior changes throughout campus as well as help Physical Plant with waste-reduction related duties (such as conducting a bin inventory of all recycling, compost, and waste bins on campus). This intern hosts a variety of educational events, including a waste sorting game outside of dining halls bi-weekly.
In May 2019, a pilot program was started which asks office occupants to empty the trash and recycling containers in their individual offices into bins at centrally located waste stations. The pilot was expanded in fall 2019. As part of the pilot, new bins have been provided for individual offices in some areas - a recycling bin with a smaller trash bin that can nest inside or clip on the outside of the recycling bin. One of the expected benefits of this program is increasing awareness of trash generated and which bin to use for waste items.
In January 2019, new signage was added above the waste bins in a newly renovated dining facility to help patrons know which bin to use for their waste items.
The Office of Sustainability partners with Elon Dining and the Kernodle Center to host a monthly Weigh the Waste program which brings awareness to food waste throughout campus by weighing post-consumer food waste during one dining hall lunch shift per month. Students are challenged to reduce their collective food waste each month.
In the spring, Earth Week focuses on waste reduction. Students and faculty/staff can earn prizes for participating in behaviors that reduce landfill waste or are educational around the topic of waste reduction.
In spring 2016, the university shifted to single stream recycling. At that time, compost collection was introduced to more areas on campus and now includes the student center, some residential neighborhoods, athletic venues, outdoor spaces near dining halls, the library, event locations throughout campus, and other locations upon request.
Collection bins and signs are all color coded: black bags and signs for landfill items; clear bags, blue lids and blue signs for recyclables and orange bags, lids and signs for compostables.
After a student-initiated pilot was done in 2015-16, in the fall of 2016 all residence hall rooms were provided with an in-room recycling bin (which included signage) to encourage and facilitate recycling in residence halls. This program has continued.

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

The university is working with a consultant in FY 19-20 to do a waste audit of several buildings and review processes to develop a waste reduction master plan.

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

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

While there is not a surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program, excess and/or unwanted office supplies are reused on campus through an informal system. Any furniture that is appropriate for reuse is reused on campus.

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

Beginning in Fall 2019, the Eco-Reps held a bi-monthly swap shop, which encouraged Elon students, faculty and staff to bring in their used clothes, books, and housewares to swap for new-to-them items. This event will continue monthly into Spring 2020.

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

Elon has a print management system, which reduced printing in computer labs and the library by 70% in the first full year of implementation on the Elon campus. Students who want to print must go to a release station and tap their Phoenix Card (student ID card) before the submitted document will print. Students are provided 'print dollars' each semester for their printing needs. In addition, duplex is the default on all computer lab and library printers.
The School of Law campus in Greensboro utilizes the print management system with a higher allotment.

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

Course catalogues and course schedules are available online. They are not routinely printed. The faculty and staff directory is not printed.

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

The Office of Sustainability, the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, Residence Life, Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity, along with other on- and off-campus partners, collaborate to organize 'Don't Trash It!' at the end of the school year. This effort is targeted to both on- and off-campus students and seeks non-perishable food items, clothing, household goods, electronics, bedding and furniture in good condition. Items are collected and donated to several local non-profit organizations. Employees are also welcome to drop-off items at the donation stations.
'Don't Trash It!' runs for two weeks in May during final exams and through graduation. Donations are taken to a series of drop-off points throughout campus. There is at least one collection site in every residential neighborhood. Donations are then collected and taken to central locations where community partners pick them up. In 2018-2019, over 10 tons of donations were collected and given to a variety of non-profit partners.
During move-in, the primary targeted waste stream is cardboard and diverting it to recycling. This is done through signage, in-person communication, environmental services staff and additional collection bins.

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

Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Historically, Elon University did not receive weight information for all of the landfill containers located on campus. This information started to be available toward the end of 2016-2017. This new data was used to estimate the weight of these containers for months when this data was not available.
The weight of materials composted for 2004-05 represents yard waste composting. The weight of materials composted for the performance year (FY 2018-2019) includes food composting and yard waste composting.
The weight of materials recycled for 2018-2019 includes cooking oil; while the weight of materials recycled for 2004-2005 does not include cooking oil.
The total full-time equivalent student enrollment and full-time equivalent of employees numbers reported for the performance year above are adjusted from those reported in PRE-5 to remove the population that utilizes buildings for which waste data is not available. These buildings were not part of campus in the baseline year.

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.