Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.84
Liaison Kalyna Procyk
Submission Date June 6, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Muhlenberg College
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
1.78 / 8.00 Jim Bolton
Assistant Director
Plant Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 118.92 Tons 0 Tons
Materials composted 8.10 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 16.20 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 672.53 Tons 815 Tons
Total waste generated 815.75 Tons 815 Tons

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

Residual conversion facility is an automated plant. Materials are sorted to recover recylables.

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, 2010 June 30, 2011

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):

The baseline year was adopted because the waste removal was being handled by a different vendor. The performance year data was available only in calendar year format.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,017 2,114
Number of employees resident on-site 10 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 2,503.88 2,539.55
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 603 484
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 2,836.91 2,796.16

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.29 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
Laboratory equipment Yes
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets Yes
Tires Yes
Other (please specify below) No

A brief description of other materials the institution has recycled, composted, donated and/or re-sold:

Renovated two make up rooms in the Center for the Arts and repurposed the lockers in the Plant Operations department; gently used lockers were repurposed for grounds and housekeepers in December of 2016 instead of being disposed of.

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:

Cougles collects recycling – roughly two complaints a year for contaminated recycling. The company sends pictures of contaminated material to keep campus departments informed about contamination. Cougles then disposes of the contamination.

Recycling bags linings on campus are clear in order to facilitate removal of obvious contamination.

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:

Muhlenberg has a robust system of signage that spans the entire campus and spans from bins to dumpsters and sites of disposal.

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

A class in Spring 2016 conducted waste audits of the dumpsters in an effort to collect data on the waste stream.

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:

Muhlenberg College does have a surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates the reuse of materials through Purchasing and Plant Operations.
Plant Ops has an off-site facility where old furniture is stored until a need arises and it can be reused.

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):

In spring of 2016, Muhlenberg changed the printing system on campus in an effort to reduce paper overuse. Wepa, the new system, is a cloud-based, print management solution for student printing. Wepa operates with a quote based system in which students are given $75 (which is roughly 800 pages double sided) for their printing needs which was in the upper 75th percentile of student paper use. After students surpass that quota they must pay for printing out of pocket, which discourages overuse.

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:

Muhlenberg College default policy is still to print some course catalogs, course schedules, and directories. These items are also available online. We do not track the amount of materials we reuse but we rarely throw things away that could be reused and always reuse when possible.

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

For freshman move in, Plant Ops and the Greening Committee puts out signage directing students to recycle their cardboard; Plant Ops and Greening Committee members collect and sort card waste. 1.41 tons of pure cardboard was collected during the freshman move-in in 2016.

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

Muhlenberg College’s campus dining operations do provide reusable containers for to-go food; these containers are returned to dining operations for cleaning and re-use.
Muhlenberg College promotes recycling and conservation measures. Additionally, waste is diverted through grounds waste composting, requiring recycling of construction waste and reusing campus materials. Muhlenberg is a landfill-free campus, as has all of its solid waste converted to energy by working with a company called Sustainable Waste Solutions (SWS). Though the waste is still incinerated, the materials are recycled once by being used as energy. Every residential student living on and off campus who are not commuting has a blue recycling bucket, and there are recycling bins located in a multitude of areas.
Muhlenberg College does not have a formal pre-consumer food waste composting program. However, we do participate in a few programs that contribute to pre-consumer waste re-use. For example, the peels of vegetables are used to make vegetable stocks for soups. Also, the MILE houses do have a composting program with the Community Garden.
The “Grounds to Grounds” program collects coffee grounds from Java Joes and the Generals Quarters and uses them to fertilize on-campus plants.

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

The information reported is accurate to the knowledge of:

Tim Korn, Facilities, Trades & Systems Manager, Plant Operations, timkorn@muhlenberg.edu
Brett Fulton, Assistant Director of Plant Operations, brettfulton@muhlenberg.edu
Jim Bolton, Director of Plant Operations, jimbolton@muhlenberg.edu
Deborah Tamte-Horan (information about online availability of course catalog), Registrar, deborahtamte-horan@muhlenberg.edu

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.