Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 78.07
Liaison Kate Witte
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

Keene State College
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.80 / 8.00 Linsey Edmunds
Sustainability Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 139.54 Metric tons 175.90 Metric tons
Materials composted 145.55 Metric tons 38.56 Metric tons
Materials donated or re-sold 0.17 Metric tons 0.54 Metric tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion --- ---
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 270.32 Metric tons 512.79 Metric tons
Total waste generated 555.59 Metric tons 727.80 Metric 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, 2019 Dec. 31, 2019
Baseline Period Jan. 1, 2015 Dec. 31, 2016

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted:
The baseline year is an average calculation between calendar years 2015 and 2016. Data for waste averages were based on the calendar year instead of the academic year to ensure consistency with the performance year, as the academic year of 2019-2020 was heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 1,839 2,281
Number of employees resident on-site 5 11
Number of other individuals resident on-site 1
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 3,368 4,094
Full-time equivalent of employees 583 552
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education
Weighted campus users

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.16 Metric tons 0.18 Metric 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
Electronics 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:
In the summer months items discarded by students moving out of their campus residences are collected, cleaned, and/or repaired for re-sell. These items include, but are not limited to: rugs, bedding, clothing, school supplies, home décor and goods, cleaning supplies, books, and home electronics. In addition, Keene State has a successful monthly surplus property sale with the goal "to advertise and recycle as many good useable surplus items such as desks, file cabinets, chairs, bookcases, etc. on campus in a fair, orderly and cost-effective process."

In December of 2017 Keene State expanded campus composting to include food waste from the dining commons, dramatically increasing our diversion rates. Originally, only yard clippings and vegetable waste from kitchens were composted on campus due to regulations imposed by the state of New Hampshire. However, a partnership with Windham Solid Waste of Brattleboro, Vermont allowed Keene State to expand composting to include all organic waste from the dinning commons. Meaning, that even meat and dairy products are composted; alongside items like coffee filters, tea bags, and paper products like napkins, paper towels, and coffee cups. After two successful years of increased campus composting, the program expanded in 2019 to include the student center. This signified a major milestone for Keene State; with this development, all major food production sites on campus compost food waste. Instead of being destined for the landfill, organic material from the dining commons and student center are tilled in windrows to become nutrient rich “Brattle-Grow” compost. Yard clippings are still composted and applied on the grounds of campus. When needed the compost supply is supplemented with “Brattle-Grow,” utilizing a full-circle reuse of organic material on campus.

(http://www.keene.edu/office/purchasing/surplus/); (https://windhamsolidwaste.org/)

Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year:
0.17 Metric tons

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:
The Keene State College Recycling Program (ROCKS; Recycling on Campus, Keene State) was established by students and remains largely student led. However, there is a full-time Recycling Coordinator to manage and supervise the ROCKS student employees. As additional safety precautions emerged in 2020 due to the pandemic, another full-time staff position was added, the Recycling Field Supervisor. This staff member works closely with student employees to ensure proper and safe collection techniques, and that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is utilized. The full-time Field Supervisor has been very successful and improved recycling collection quality. The Office of Sustainability hopes to maintain this staff position in the future. Still, the ROCKS student employees are the foundation of our recycling program quality control as they collect and sort all recycling on-site before it leaves for the City of Keene transfer station.
Additional quality control mechanisms include education, outreach, and communication. New signage was designed by students and displayed across campus in the spring of 2019 to inform our campus community of best recycling practices. The new signs clearly show what bins can accept through images and minimal text. The Eco-Reps (student sustainability organization) offer peer-to-peer outreach and education of proper waste practices.

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives:
A plastic bag ban headed by the Eco-Reps was underway, implemented in fall 2019 but worked on in the spring 2019 semester. The College and Office of Sustainability routinely work with the Dining Services contractor on initiatives related to EDUCATING ABOUT FOOD WASTE AND THE NEED TO "SCRAPE YOUR PLATE" FOR COMPOST COLLECTION. KSC employs food audits in the Dining Commons to identify menu items that are commonly wasted. As well, the KSC Eco-Reps routinely observe the composting stations to encourage student participation and compliance. Other programs offered include "dorm storms" and tabling to educate students; and waste audits at the Student Center. The Office of Sustainability Waste Management Team schedules several Earth Week events to promote Sustainability month, including campus clean ups, a “conservation celebration” with multiple campus organizations partnering with us, movie nights, social media campaigns, and more! We work with the Assoc VP for Student Engagement. Resident Directors, Resident Advisors, and Dining Services staff to educate about reducing consumption and food waste, as well as proper recycling efforts. Increasingly, the Office of Sustainability emphasizes reducing waste as the most important action.

A brief description of the institution's waste audits and other initiatives to assess its materials management efforts and identify areas for improvement:
The Eco-Reps and ROCKS students conduct week-long food waste audits once a semester in collaboration with the campus catering company, Chartwells. These food waste audits are designed to asses the amount of food waste generated by students in the dining commons. The data collected is sent to our dining services partners and used to identify menu items that are commonly wasted and to inform strategies for reducing food waste (i.e. portion size adjustment, menu items to eliminate, etc.). The waste audit data was also used to support proposals for post-consumer composting programs.

In addition, trash audits were held publicly on campus to teach students, staff, and faculty which items can be either recycled or composted; while also helping our community understand what contaminates are and how to prevent it. These audits are used to identify specific buildings for additional education and outreach programs such as "dorm storms" to better inform students.


A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste:
In the Innovation category you will read about the "Single Use Switch" campaign that is an Office of Sustainability and Eco-Rep initiative to reduce and eventually eliminate single use plastics on campus. The first two projects under this initiative were (1) Ban the Bottle, reported on in KSC's 2017 AASHE STARS submission, and (2) Single Use switch of plastic bags on campus to either reusable ones or pay per use ones.

A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:
The campus Reuse Room is a common space managed by the ROCKS and Eco-Reps students for items to be exchanged freely for reuse. Individuals on-campus can bring household or office items to the Reuse Room, and are encouraged to take items that they can reuse.

The ROSE Room, located in the Media Arts building is a space dedicated to offering free and reusable office supplies, which are often donated by faculty and staff.

Keene State has a robust Surplus Program where furniture and large office items are available for reuse on campus. Sales are organized and open to the public once a month.

A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse:
The ROSE and Reuse Rooms as described above. Another popular program described in the Innovation section of this STARS submission is the campus Food Pantry, "The Hungry Owl." This program encourages faculty, staff, and students to donate surplus food to those in need. Similarly, the College's Green Bikes Program exemplifies reuse and repurposing, through a student-led repair program, that transforms donated old bikes into free bikes for student and other campus members' use.

A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption:
All students have an allotted amount of printing available for free to them, after which they can pay for additional copies. All printing is limited in the library where all printers are automatically programmed to print double-sided. Paper purchased for printing is post-consumer recycled. The large printing lab requires multiple steps.

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to make materials available online by default rather than printing them:
Keene State College has focused on reducing the quantity of printed materials that are used on campus. Efforts have been made across campus to have materials available online. Departments that have traditionally ordered or printed large quantities of materials have monitored usage to adjust purchases and printing to reduce waste. Keene State College also is part of the University of New Hampshire's Open Education Program described in AC-11, which tries to minimize text book prices by offering materials online as much as possible and using other open access options.

Keene State courses are managed through a campus learning management system that allows instructors to post digital copies of reading assignments, syllabi, and other key documents. Thus, eliminating the need for students to print paper copies.

A brief description of the institution's program to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:
The ROCKS Recycling Program operates 39 donation stations within residential halls across campus. Each donation station brings in a variety of reusable items including: clothing, shoes, bedding, food, household goods, cleaning supplies, toiletries, school supplies and appliances/electronics. Items are collected by the ROCKS staff and cleaned/organized before resell to the campus community in June and August. The objective of this sale is to reduce consumption, and ultimately waste, and to promote the reuse of items.

When students move into their residential halls The Office of Sustainability rents additional dumpsters for cardboard collection and employs recycling monitors to help families sort their recyclables and waste. These efforts have increased cardboard recycling rates during move-in and reduced contamination. In addition, temporary recycling stations are set up for paper and comingled collection. While signage promoting the correct method of recycling is displayed across campus, residential halls housing predominately first-year students have an increased frequency of signage.

A brief description of the institution's programs or initiatives to recover and reuse other materials intended for disposal:
See Move Out Sale program and Surplus program descriptions above

Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Program information provided by Matt Bacon, KSC Recycling Coordinator and reviewed by Linsey Edmunds, KSC's Sustainable Materials Management Coordinator.

Program information provided by Matt Bacon, KSC Recycling Coordinator and reviewed by Linsey Edmunds, KSC's Sustainable Materials Management Coordinator.

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.