Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.91
Liaison Elizabeth Swiman
Submission Date Dec. 19, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Florida State University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.13 / 8.00 Tony Collins
Solid Waste & Recycling Associate
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,322.73 Tons 1,419.05 Tons
Materials composted 405.60 Tons 549.79 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 1,465.98 Tons 12 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 3,244.30 Tons 2,715.29 Tons
Total waste generated 6,438.61 Tons 4,696.13 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, 2017 June 30, 2018
Baseline Year July 1, 2010 June 30, 2011

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):

Baseline year is previous STARS performance year.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 6,733 6,296
Number of employees resident on-site 12 22
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 35,340 27,981
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 6,670 6,338
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 2,461 1,572.20
Weighted campus users 31,348 26,139.60

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.21 Tons 0.18 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) 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:


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) :
1,445.98 Tons

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 quality control report is done on a daily basis to monitor contamination of recycling and solid waste at the FSU Solid Waste and Recycling Facility. To support in the reduction of contamination in FSU buildings, a team of contact persons (faculty and office staff) were formed and trained to help the recycling efforts and spread recycling messages to their colleagues. Strong relationships between contact persons and the Solid Waste and Recycling team are helpful in informing the quality control staff in designated area (suites, copy and kitchen/break rooms) needing additional service, general maintenance, and/or relocation.

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:

The Sustainable Campus office creates signage, videos, social media messaging, and tables at events throughout campus on how students can reduce waste in their daily life. A sample of current messaging about waste minimization includes: using a reusable water bottle, utilizing hydration stations, carrying a reusable bag, going strawless, discounts when for bringing your own coffee mug, Meatless Mondays, waste audits, Chuck it for Charity, and the Office Supply Swap.

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

Undergraduate students in the class Green Living: Theory to Action conducted a waste audit to determine the amount of recycling and landfill bin misuse occurring on campus. Students sifted through garbage and recycling bags from various locations across FSU, tracked contamination type, and weight of multiple categories of materials. Students analyzed the data, reporting on recycling confusion and making suggestions to educate the campus community. The Sustainable Campus office utilized the data for recycling campaigns.

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

Departments are encouraged to purchase in bulk when possible and to save packaging materials for reuse.

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

Florida State University Surplus Property has offered several crucial services to the University and the public as a waste management strategy. These strategies include interdepartmental transfers, 501(c)(3) donations and public auction sales, while highlighting the effort to reuse university property. Through the combined efforts of Surplus Property and Waste Management, FSU can continue to increase surplus programming and simplify dispositions for campus departments.
FSU is refocusing efforts on providing enhanced customer service to the university and the public, all with the intent to increase the overall efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of these processes. By providing one consistent, simple disposition mechanism, this merger will greatly reduce the number of steps by which departments dispose of property and bring FSU closer to achieving goals defined in the Strategic Plan.

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):

Surplus Property is a division of the FSU Waste Management program that supports the reuse of items on campus. Surplus Property captures used assets that are no longer beneficial to the submitting department, but determined by that department to still have value. Once submitted to surplus, the item(s) value is assessed, providing the department five business days to reclaim these assets if needed. The process of transferring old assets to new departments prolongs the life of the asset and minimizes cost for university by eliminating the need to purchase new equipment and materials. If no other department is interested in the item, Surplus Property will sell the assets online through a public auction website. Through the auction website, the local community can pay reduced prices for goods no longer usable to the university. The surplus division also practices donation efforts by contributing assets to 501 (c)(3) charitable groups for reuse.
FSU also maintains NoleNet, a web based platform that allows employees to trade items prior to utilizing Surplus services. This listserv broadcasts information about items available within the university, providing employees the opportunity to reuse of certain items (mostly IT equipment) before it is picked up by Surplus. This platform allows the peer-to-peer exchange of usable items, creating a centralized option for reuse.
Sustainable Campus hosts a yearly Office Swap where the campus community can trade school and office items, pick up a new item, and/or donate unwanted items for others to utilize. All items are free and unwanted supplies are taken to FSU Surplus where they are reused or properly recycled.

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):

Individual departments may impose paper and ink limits per available budget. In an effort to better manage supply inventory, Office of Business Services (OBS) enables automatic supply ordering for campus copiers and student accessible printers. Machines are capable of place an order for toner when near empty. The order is registered with FSU’s copier vendor who dispatches delivery through a major shipping company. This ensures that only the supplies needed are delivered, items are delivered directly to the user or office, and eliminates the need for departments to stock toner. OBS, in partnership with the Sustainable Campus Office, makes sure that empty supply containers are recycled.
Copier machines can also be programmed to automatically default to double-sided printing, should departments choose this setting.

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:

The Office of the Registrar has moved all major publications to online sources, including the General Bulletin and the course catalog. Additionally, online and smart phone applications have been created for faculty and staff directories.


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

Chuck it for Charity is a program of Sustainable Campus and Housing & Residence Life to collect all the “stuff” that is usually thrown out during student move-out. The material is weighed, sorted, and redistributed to Tallahassee area community agencies in support of their work and the people they help. Since 2008, FSU has collected and donated over 139 tons of stuff.

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

Reusable to-go containers used in dining facilities.
Discounts for reusable mugs in dining & coffee facilities.
Donation of supplies and furniture when available.
Reuse of concrete materials for small pathways and retaining walls.
Green office certification waste minimization tips.
FSU utilizes vendors such as “E” media, Power-House Recycling, Caraustar, Goodwill, and West-Rock in recovery and reuse efforts for the university.

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

FSU contamination rate is reported by Marpan Recycling Center, FSU's contracted recycling vendor.

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.