Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.51
Liaison Jennifer Lamy
Submission Date July 14, 2022

STARS v2.2

Emerson College
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.82 / 8.00 Jennifer Lamy
Campus Sustainability Manager
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 94.27 Tons 167.94 Tons
Materials composted 5.96 Tons 46.71 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 2 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 3.63 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 599.80 Tons 742.26 Tons
Total waste generated 702.03 Tons 960.54 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 Jan. 1, 2021 Dec. 31, 2021
Baseline Period Nov. 1, 2014 Oct. 31, 2015

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

Emerson 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 2,426 1,936
Number of employees resident on-site 8 6
Number of other individuals resident on-site 2 3
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 5,612.50 6,466
Full-time equivalent of employees 1,459.50 594.80
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 285 0
Weighted campus users 5,700.75 5,784.10

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.12 Tons 0.17 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 No
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 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.

The college collect unwanted materials during move out each semester for students to trade and donate to local nonprofits. Materials collected include small appliances, kitchenware, clothing & shoes, lamps & lighting, canned goods/non perishables, books, bedding and unopened toiletries.

Unwanted furniture is sold or donated.

Emerson rents a metal scrap material bin during all construction periods.

Emerson has single stream recycling throughout campus, for all paper, plastic, metal and glass containers.

Pallets are collected by Emerson's waste hauler for wood recycling.

Emerson collects and recycles e-waste (phones, computers, tech accessories, wiring, CDs, etc.) as well as all shredded paper.

The college collects and safely dispose of batteries and lightbulbs.

There are k-cup collection stations throughout campus. K-cups are sent to TerraCycle for recycling.

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:

Trash, recycling, and compost bins are clearly labeled across campus. A recent student initiative included an inventory of current bins and signage. Following their recommendations, ongoing work is underway (to be completed in summer, 2022) to ensure all waste bins are in the same order relative to each other across campus and that all waste signs are consistent across campus. We are also in the process of adding QR codes to waste signage that will lead to a webpage with waste sorting information, which serves the added benefit of improved accessibility for low-vision community members.

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

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:

Every semester, the Sustainability Manager works with campus partners in IT and Archives to host a Clean Out Your Office Day. Faculty and staff bring unused office supplies and books to a central location, where others can collect items they need for free. Everything remaining is donated to local nonprofit organizations.

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

An employee-wide Slack group, called Chuckslist, serves as a platform for peer-to-peer exchange and reuse. Faculty and staff post items they no longer need and others respond to claim them.

A student group is currently developing a Facebook group for students to use in a similar manner.

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

Emerson College recently centralized printing to reduce waste. Instead of individual printers in offices, employees use common printers. All campus printing goes through a centralized online system. Students receive $10 towards printing each semester and pay for printing beyond that limit.

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

All course catalogues, academic calendars, commencement information, and other institution-wide information is available online. All faculty uses Canvas to house course materials online.

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

Each spring, the student group Emerson Green Collective runs a donation drive to collect move-out waste. A "shop and swap" event is hosted during Earth Day to allow other students to collect donated items for their own use. Everything remaining is donated to local nonprofit organizations, including Grad Bag and Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

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:

Waste data (recycling, trash, and compost) were provided by Waste Management.

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.