Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.49
Liaison Amy Elvidge
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Emerson College
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.56 / 8.00 Amy Elvidge
Sustainability Coordinator
Campus 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 210.88 Tons 167.94 Tons
Materials composted 37.75 Tons 46.71 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 2.70 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 6.75 Tons 3.63 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 562.93 Tons 742.26 Tons
Total waste generated 821.01 Tons 960.54 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility, including affirmation that materials are sorted prior to conversion to recover recyclables and compostable materials:

Waste is separated on our campus according to stream: cardboard, single-stream recycling, compost, electronic waste, scrap metal, wood and landfill waste. Our waste hauler picks up our waste streams and sends the waste to the appropriate site for conversion. All of our 'landfill' waste is incinerated at a waste to energy plant.

Donated materials such as clothing, linens, office supplies, and unopened non-perishable food are collected twice per year and donated to local charities.
Leftover prepared food for catering is donated as needed to the nearby St. Francis House meal provider.

Our waste hauler gives us monthly reports of our waste stream profile. The data does not include our LA and Netherlands campuses; however, the total full-time student enrollment numbers do.


Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 30, 2016 July 1, 2017
Baseline Year Nov. 1, 2014 Oct. 31, 2015

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):

We switched to a waste hauler that could provide alternative recycling streams and data to show waste disposal profiles monthly in FY15.
The first full pick up of all recycling and waste disposal streams was for November 2014.


Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 1736 1936
Number of employees resident on-site 6 6
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 3 3
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 3783 6466
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 846 594.80
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 3910.25 5784.10

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.21 Tons 0.17 Tons

Percentage reduction in total waste generated per weighted campus user from baseline:
0

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator by recycling, composting, donating or re-selling, performance year:
30.61

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator (including up to 10 percent attributable to post-recycling residual conversion):
31.43

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

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

All collected materials that are in good working use (or appealingly edible) are donated. All collected materials that are unable to serve their purpose a second time are recycled or composted.

We donate leftover food from our catering events to St. Francis House and student employees.
We collect unwanted materials during move out each semester for students to trade and donate to Goodwill, More than Words and St Vincent de Paul. Materials collected include furniture, appliances, kitchenware, clothing & shoes, lamps & lighting, canned goods/non perishables, books, bedding and unopened toiletries.
Unwanted furniture is sold or donated.
Unwanted appliances are sold, donated or made into scrap material.
We rent a metal scrap material bin during all construction periods.
Cooking oil is regularly collected through a partnership with Sodexo.
We have single stream throughout campus, for all paper, plastic, metal and glass containers.
Pallets are collected by our waste hauler for wood recycling.

We collect and recycle e-waste (phones, computers, tech accessories, wiring, CDs, etc.) as well as all of our shredded paper.

We collect and safely dispose of batteries and lightbulbs.


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?:
Yes

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?:
No

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?:
No

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program (percentage, 0-100):
10

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:

Only clear bags are used in our recycling bins. Custodial staff and our waste haulers are able to assess for contamination when collecting materials and separate accordingly (either entire bags or individual items)


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:

Single stream, landfill and composting signage is located throughout campus.
Eco Rep students serve as waste monitors monthly to monitor popular disposal sites at popular hours and advise students on effective recycling.
Green reusable containers are available in all of our eateries to prevent single use to-go containers and discounts are offered for reusing mugs/bottles.
The dining hall is trayless and all leftover pre and post consumer waste is composted there.
Emerson regularly competes in RecycleMania, an 8 week event that includes a Residence Hall Competition, an Office Competition, a Pledge, a Weigh the Waste Dining Hall event, a film screening, an Upcycled Art & Fashion Showcase and tabling in popular locations by student Eco Reps.
Shop & Swap centers are located in each residence hall during move out and signage is placed on all waste rooms to encourage students to bring donatable materials to the Shops.


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

A waste audit is held every November on two representative floors of all of our buildings. The waste is weighed and the results are presented to the sustainability committee and featured in our student newspaper.


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

Emerson contracts with WB Mason for purchasing. WB Mason is a local organization with a policy to "reduce our carbon footprint and increase sustainability. To achieve our mission, we encourage all businesses and customers to promote economic progress, and advocate for social and environmental responsibility." WB Mason features green options and we have reformatted our internal purchasing page to feature recyclable and high recycled content first.
The Green Office Etiquette training program works with office administrative assistants to advise on sustainable purchasing practices such as purchasing in bulk and minimizing packaging.


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

Clean Out Your Office day is held three times a year to allow staff and faculty to exchange, donate and recycling unwanted items.
"Chuck's List" (in honor of Emerson's founder, Charles Emerson) is a channel on our interactive messaging board that allows Emerson staff and faculty to post and exchange items in a similar manner to Craig's List.


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):

Clean Out Your Office day is held three times a year to allow staff and faculty to exchange, donate and recycling unwanted items.
"Chuck's List" (in honor of Emerson's founder, Charles Emerson) is a channel on our interactive messaging board that allows Emerson staff and faculty to post and exchange items in a similar manner to Craig's List.
Shop & Swap centers are located in each residence hall during move out and signage is placed on all waste rooms to encourage students to bring donatable materials to the Shops.


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):

Double sided printing is the set mode on all campus printers.
Printing is $0.10 per page in all student centers.


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:

All materials for academic coursework are available online.


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

During move in, separate hampers are installed on each floor to collect boxes. Residence Hall staff are trained to efficiently break down boxes for easy recycling.
Shop & Swap centers are located in each residence hall during move out and signage is placed on all waste rooms to encourage students to bring donatable materials to the Shops.


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

E-waste is commonly practiced on campus through our work order system and IT Help Desk.
Batteries are collected in the lobbies of all buildings.


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

For data, see 'other resource streams' and 'alt summary' tabs

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.