Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.92
Liaison Ilda Hershey
Submission Date May 15, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Oklahoma State University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.17 / 8.00 Ilda Hershey
Sustainability Coordinator
OSU Physical Plant
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 902.64 Tons 135 Tons
Materials composted 93.15 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 2.70 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 3,066 Tons 4,795.32 Tons
Total waste generated 4,064.49 Tons 4,930.32 Tons

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

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2016 June 30, 2017
Baseline Year July 1, 2005 June 30, 2006

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 6,453 7,077
Number of employees resident on-site 26 400
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 331 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 21,263.11 21,235
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 4,187 4,677
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 5,727.02 247
Weighted campus users 16,743.07 21,118

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.24 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 No
Plant materials Yes
Animal bedding Yes
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Laboratory equipment No
Furniture No
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets Yes
Tires No
Other (please specify below) Yes

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

Textiles and cardboard are included in the above waste figures.

Not include are: e-waste, tires, refrigerants, lab chemicals, batteries, fluorescent lamps, Res Hall move-out goods, furniture, lab equipment, construction and demolition waste. This items have been recycled but not quantified.

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:

The key quality control mechanism we employ to minimize contamination is to provide tours of the sorting facilities that accept our materials and visually show the contamination. Another deterrent is spreading the word across campus that all recyclable material from campus is hand sorted in our rural location. Making the connection to human hands discourages our major contaminant, food waste/residue and minor contaminants that pose danger, such as glass and sharps.

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:

In addition to frequent MRF tours, we use signage at bins, at recycle dumpsters, as hall flyers and on residential hall magnets. We have found that clustering bins changes behavior in that less contamination is found in clustered recycle bins and less recycling is found in clustered trash cans.

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

In spring 2017, a group of Plant & Soil Sciences students replicated a previous waste stream analysis (done in 2013) for their senior capstone event. Approximately 16 students volunteered to help with the data collection, including Environmental Science Club members and Biosystems & Ag Engineering students. The results of the study may be found here: https://fm.okstate.edu/sites/default/files/u119/WasteAuditReport2017Final.pdf

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:

The Office of Asset Management assists university departments in effective management and accountability of University property. The Office issues a monthly list of surplus items and whatever items are not moved among University departments or other State agencies are transferred to the Surplus Warehouse where they are displayed for OSU employees to take for use on campus as needed. When the Warehouse is too crowded, usually once per quarter, items are sold at public auction.

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):

Faculty, staff and graduate students are strongly encouraged to procure used furnishings, equipment, electronics and other goods from the surplus warehouse. Photos of surplus items are shared via social media and in-person presentations. There is also a webpage dedicated to the exchange of surplus. Several residential halls utilize Buy-Sell-Trade exchanges that they create via GroupMe.

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):

Library and computer lab printers are set on default to print double-sided.

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:

OSU offers course catalogs, course schedules and directories online. The student newspaper, the O'Colly is online as are departmental newsletters. The University Imaging Office scans files for offices that wish to go paperless.

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

A Move-In Recycling program was implemented for the first time in August 2013 for students living in both Single Student Housing and Family and Graduate Student Housing. Cardboard continues to be collected for recycling each year at move-in. Real Pokes Pass It On is a Move-out program that collects clothing, books, and household items and donates them to charity either directly or via a fall resale program. Family & Graduate Student Housing also holds a yard sale. Various groups hold book drives at the end of each semester.

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

Many materials are recovered and reused on campus at the departmental level including used office supplies, sturdy boxes, textiles, rags, bricks and pavers, pallets, lab chemicals, corrugated plastic signs, and scrap lumber.

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

Jon Hunt, H&RL; Larry Burns, IRIM

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.