Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.88
Liaison Audrey McSain
Submission Date March 20, 2023

STARS v2.2

Lehigh University
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.11 / 8.00 Dan O'Brien
Associate Director
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 362.44 Tons 335.07 Tons
Materials composted 925 Tons 659.28 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 7.03 Tons 13 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 2,212.19 Tons 1,269.32 Tons
Total waste generated 3,506.66 Tons 2,276.67 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 July 1, 2018 June 30, 2019
Baseline Period July 1, 2010 June 30, 2011

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted:
First year of overall data.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 3,422 4,608
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 6,422 7,577.33
Full-time equivalent of employees 1,819 1,654
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 197.99 234.33
Weighted campus users 6,887.76 7,899.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.51 Tons 0.29 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 No
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:
Electronic waste such as computer CPU, monitors, keyboards, mouse, televisions, batteries, plastic film, etc

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

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:
Collectors open recycling bags prior to loading into compactors. Materials are scanned for contamination before being placed into compactors.

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives:
Participation in football and basketball game day challenges and Recyclemania. Student Eco Reps reinforce recycling practices in all residence halls and Greek housing. Recycling education is part of the Earth Day celebration each year. In addition, the Lehigh Sustainable Office Program reaches faculty and staff office spaces with trash and recycling signage as well as recycling awareness program.

A brief description of the institution's waste audits and other initiatives to assess its materials management efforts and identify areas for improvement:
The Office of Sustainability conducts 15-20 non-food waste audits annually on academic, administrative, residential and greek buildings

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste:
Lehigh worked with our office supplies vendors to minimize packaging supplies are delivered in. In addition, Lehigh has a Sustainable Purchasing Policy that covers the environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability.

A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:
Asa's Attic is Lehigh's Surplus Property Disposal program available to faculty and staff departments. During the 2017-2018 academic year, Lehigh initiated a surplus property program.

A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse:
See comment above regarding management of surplus property.

A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption:
Lehigh has instituted a printing quota for students which results in an annual paper savings of a 1 million pages per academic year. Double sided printing is default for all public sites (libraries and computer labs) printers.

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to make materials available online by default rather than printing them:
Library and Technology Services works with Lehigh faculty to educate them about alternatives to requiring printing in their classes.

A brief description of the institution's program to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:
Students who will be packing up at the end of the semester are encouraged
to donate unwanted clothing, linens, electronics, school supplies,
household items, furniture, and unopened food at designated locations
within each residence hall or at the sorting facility on campus.

Proceeds from this sale fund Lehigh's Afterschool Homework Clubs for
South Bethlehem children.

In addition to benefiting this worthwhile cause, the sale also helps
recycle much-needed items back into the community, at extremely affordable

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

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:
Waste minimization and diversion was impacted by COVID-19. To be representative of a normal year, data from FY 19 was used. This data is tracked on a waste tracking sheet distributed to all relevant departments that is updated monthly.

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.