Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.09
Liaison Merry Rankin
Submission Date Aug. 30, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Iowa State University
IN-25: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Merry Rankin
ISU Director of Sustainability
Facilities Planning & Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
ISU Department of Residence Waste Diversion Efforts

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

With a vision of serving as the premier living environment for advancing student success at Iowa State University, the Department of Residence is constantly considering space needs and waste challenges for the over 12,000 students that annually choose their home to be on-campus.

Although standing partnerships are in place to offer landfill diversion options for residential waste, including collaborations with Goodwill that provided a reuse outlet for over 26 tons of unwanted furnishings during annual spring move-out, waste connected to renovation projects requires specialized focus and effort. In 2018 two housing renovation projects highlighted the dedicated commitment of the Department of Residence staff in prioritizing large scale reuse.

First, due to the deteriorating condition of apartment patio fencing boards, 500 patio fences were replaced over a two-year period. Although 40-50 years old, these Cypress fence boards were recognized as a beneficial waste product of the renovation. Reuse options were explored and resulted in the creation of more than 100 “hallway benches” for university academic buildings, and the building and placement of 300 wood duck nesting boxes in partnership with The Delta Waterfowl Student Chapter at Iowa State. In addition to placing nest boxes throughout Story County, the ISU chapter also shared boards with two other chapters in Iowa to assist them with their projects.

Most recently, fencing boards were reused to offer additional birdhouses through a community art competition, bringing together partners including Ames Parks and Recreation, Ames elementary school art teachers, the Ames High School Art Club, Big Bluestem Audubon Society, Ames community preschools, and area Girl Scout and Daisy troops. Judging of the birdhouses was completed in mid-April and birdhouse installation is scheduled to be completed in Ames community parks by May 31.

Second, as part of a summer renovation project replacing residence hall furniture, the ISU Department of Residence had over 187 tons of furniture for disposal. Staff researched options that had the capacity for over four thousand pieces of furniture within time and storage constraints to ensure all residential facilities would be ready for fall move in. An outlet was identified through The Reuse Network (IRN). Not only was IRN able to offer reuse outlets for all 4,038 pieces of surplus residential furniture, but they were also able to provide all transportation and relocation services – all at a cost lower than landfilling.

As a result of these efforts, container shipments of beds, desks, chairs, wardrobes, desktop bookcases and dressers were shipped to five states (Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia) and four countries (Jamaica, Jordan, Lebanon, Zambia) to aid with community relief efforts.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Public Engagement
Coordination & Planning

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.