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
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.13 / 8.00 Ayodeji Oluwalana
Recycling and Special Events Coordinator
Facilities Planning and Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,850.29 Tons 1,613.43 Tons
Materials composted 355 Tons 380.58 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 700.91 Tons 150 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 2,124.12 Tons 4,237.17 Tons
Total waste generated 5,030.32 Tons 6,381.18 Tons

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

Although not having a residual conversion facility (as defined for this credit) available to us as a landfill diversion option, ISU still commits to utilizing an energy conversion option for waste disposal in lieu of landfilling.

The Arnold O. Chantland Resource Recovery Plant (RRP) was the first municipally-owned and operated waste-to-energy facility in the nation and opened for business in 1975. The plant receives garbage/refuse from Ames and the surrounding communities in Story County.

RRP recovers both reusable metals and refuse. Both ferrous and non-ferrous metal is extracted by magnets and sold to a scrap dealer for recycling. The rest of the refuse is shredded by machines and falls into two categories:

The combustible portion of the refuse becomes Refuse-Derived Fuel, or RDF, which is piped to the City's power plant. Iowa Department of Natural Resources permits the City to burn RDF up to 30% by weight.

Noncombustible material is shredded to reduce volume before being sent to the Boone County Landfill.

Through this process, more than 80 acres of Iowa farmland have been saved from becoming a landfill, while providing electricity to more than 4,600 Ames-area households.

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2018 June 30, 2019
Baseline Year July 1, 2011 June 30, 2012

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 11,378 9,886
Number of employees resident on-site 1 1
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 1 1
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 33,634 29,991
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 6,238 5,704
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1,374 1,469
Weighted campus users 31,719.25 28,142.25

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.16 Tons 0.23 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 Yes
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:

motor oil, fluorescent lamps, batteries, laboratory glass, corrugated cardboard, copier ink cartridges

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:

Truck drivers monitor bin materials and will reject load if contaminated. The material recovery facility monitors truck loads and rejects loads if contaminated.

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:

Developed new recycle and waste diversion signage for campus recycle containers and recycle locations.

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

Waste audit in General Services Building, resulting in 80% improvement in diversion rate. Meeting with campus recycle coordinators to develop improved recycle program and identify other locations for waste audits.

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

Recognizing our impact as a significant purchaser of goods and services, Iowa State University's goal is to give preference to environmentally friendly products whose sustainability, function and quality are equal or superior to more traditional products and whose cost is equal or less.

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

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):

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:

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 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.