Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 43.02
Liaison Tanja Srebotnjak
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Harvey Mudd College
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.13 / 8.00 Joel Peterson
Assistant Vice President for Capital Projects and Facilities
Facilities and Maintenance
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 52.78 Tons 108.40 Tons
Materials composted 15.70 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 147.55 Tons 574.80 Tons
Total waste generated 216.03 Tons 683.20 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 Jan. 1, 2017 Dec. 31, 2017
Baseline Year July 1, 2007 June 30, 2008

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):

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 830 706
Number of employees resident on-site 2 1
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 844 738
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 330 86.60
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 1088.50 795.20

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.20 Tons 0.86 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 No
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
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:

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?:

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 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:

In recent years, the college has taken on a number of waste-related behavior change initiatives. The figures above are from 2013-14 and further back, but from 2016-18: (1) the Hixon Center has administrated multiple waste audits on campus to involve the community in measuring waste and ascertaining how successful we've been in diverting waste from landfill; (2) we have aggressively implemented composting on campus, which has included installing a dehydrator in our dining hall, implementing pre- and post-consumer waste composting in the dining hall, and installing table-top and external compost bins across campus. These have all been accompanied by signage, educational blog posts, and messages to the campus community.

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

Within the past couple of years, we've held a couple of campus-wide waste audits that take representative samples from different building types (academic, administrative, residential, dining) to ascertain how well we are doing in terms of diverting waste from landfill, and how much waste we are producing overall.

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

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

Most of this work is done informally on campus. Staff and faculty oftentimes exchange supplies directly, and the campus has not yet instituted the means to measure these transactions as diversions from landfill. In addition, most items that may typically get thrown away as old office supplies are sometimes taken by the campus community or external visitors, for which the campus has also not yet instituted the proper means to measure that reuse.

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):

As mentioned, this all happens pretty often and informally on campus. It often occurs through e-mails to the campus community promoting the giveaway of items when they are no longer needed. In addition, Facilities & Maintenance holds a giveaway of lost items that were never claimed at least once a year.

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):

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:

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

Up to this point, students have been provided plentiful options in terms of discounted off-campus storage. In addition, there are designated storage spaces in the residence halls where returning students are able to leave behind their items and retrieve them the next year. In these situations, we are able to reclaim most left-behind items or limit the number of move-in/move-out waste.

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

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

The campus was able to substantially reduce materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator between the baseline and performance year largely due to a few key developments: (1) vastly improved recycling facilities on campus, which include cardboard balers, increased presence of recycling bins, and reduced disposable recyclable material for purchase from campus vendors; (2) the development of a campus-wide compost program to reduce organics and food waste otherwise going into landfills; and (3) increased awareness around waste reduction and sustainable practices on campus.

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.