Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 73.27
Liaison Brandon Trelstad
Submission Date March 4, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Oregon State University
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.99 / 5.00 Andrea Norris
Outreach Coordinator
Campus Recycling
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,021.87 Tons 607 Tons
Materials composted 1,407.19 Tons 196 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 433.69 Tons 121 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,713.77 Tons 3,105 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 4,738 3,253
Number of residential employees 15 16
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 25,377.70 17,977
Full-time equivalent of employees 5,397.40 4,581
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 3,181.70 556

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2014 June 30, 2015
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 June 30, 2005

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted:
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A brief description of any (non-food) waste audits employed by the institution:

While OSU does not conduct waste audits on a regular basis, dumpster audits are done at least a few times per year, most often those from residence halls. This provides us with some data on how residents are sorting from one year to the next.

Notably, an audit of the waste collected within the campus library during the weekend leading into student finals was conducted, in order to evaluate recycle rate and contamination, as well as any needs for additional recycling or compost. This data was used to implement a pilot program in FY16.

In conjunction with the #CoffeeCupCoup Campaign, a dumpster belonging to multiple classroom buildings was audited for presence of disposable coffee cups. These cups were then collected and cleaned for use as visual aids in outreach.

We have also audited football stadium trash to assess the potential waste diversion of moving to compostable serving ware in our stadium, and audited tailgater area trash to gather data to use for outreach talking points.


A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

Section 307 of OSU's Procurement and Contract Services Manual addresses sustainable purchasing. Sections 307-001 and 307-002 relate to waste:

307-001: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover
"OSU will use sustainable purchasing by applying the methodology of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Recover.” Whenever practicable, attention should be given to the environment through the evaluation of this methodology along with performance, life expectancy, quality, and value for money."

307-002: Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policies
"When purchasing goods and services, Oregon State University will strive to balance short and long-term costs, maintenance, life cycle, and costs to the environment. Oregon State University is committed to identifying goods and services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing goods and services that serve the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, and disposal of the product. Oregon State University is also committed to identifying companies that utilize environmentally preferable products and services. Companies that are able to supply environmentally preferable products and services (especially post-consumer recycled materials) that meet performance requirements will be encouraged to offer them in bids and proposals."

Source: http://fa.oregonstate.edu/pacs-manual/300-purchasing/307-sustainability


A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

All property no longer needed by an OSU department is required by OSU policy to be sent to Surplus Property for proper disposition.

Surplus Property's mission is to recycle or transfer excess or surplus property back to OSU departments, state and local governments, and qualified nonprofit organizations within the State of Oregon. Surplus property not sold to departments are offered for sale to the general public. Most items are offered through OSUsed Store sales and online auction sites. Some items may be offered through sealed bids or contact bids. The OSUsed Store hosts sales open to the public once per week.

All office supplies and housewares that are $5 or less are offered to OSU departments free of charge, allowing OSU to offer office supplies for reuse within the university, without the need to facilitate a separate office supplies exchange program.

Source: http://surplus.oregonstate.edu


A brief description of the institution's efforts to make materials available online by default rather than printing them:

The Oregon State University directory has moved online but there are a limited number of OSU directories printed and available for pick up by OSU students as they would like.

OSU only offers printed versions of the course catalog to students if requested by the student. Otherwise all the information is kept online at catalog.oregonstate.edu. The course schedule and registration information is only available online for OSU students and no printed versions are provided at all.


A brief description of any limits on paper and ink consumption employed by the institution:

Oregon State University does not offer free printing to students. All student computing facilities and the OSU Valley Library charge on a per page basis for the printing (5 cents per page, on average).

The Student Computer Facilities have policies that are in place to also eliminate wasteful printing and are as follows:
- Users will be billed for printing via their university account.
- Users are asked to print 2 sided but are not required to.
- Mass production of club flyers, newsletters, posters, is strictly prohibited. If multiple copies are desired users need to go to an appropriate copying facility such as: Valley Library printing center or Kinko's.

The OSU Valley Library also allows for printing but is restricted to OSU Students, Staff and Faculty. It is billed at a higher rate than the Student Computing Facilities:
Black and white: 7¢ per page
Color laser printing: 40¢ per page
Self-service photocopies: 7¢ per page with a card, 10¢ if you use cash/coin


A brief description of any programs employed by the institution to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:

Starting in 2007 a campus wide initiative to reduce move-in and move-out waste was started. This group brings together Campus Recycling, Surplus Property, and University Housing and Dining Services in a coordinated effort to reduce move-in and move-out waste.

For move-in, Resident Directors/Assistants inform residents of the location of the recycling rooms (located on each floor), and residents receive 1-2 small recycle bins in their rooms. Campus Recycling increases the service rate during move-in to pick-up the increased amount of recycling, particularly of cardboard. Also during move-in, large bins for Styrofoam collection are placed at every hall next to the dumpster and the material collected is recycled.

The annual Res. Hall Move-Out Donation Drive runs May through June. Marketing begins approximately one month in advance of move-out week. Each residence hall room received a move-out kit, which included a door hanger with details on how to donate and recycle unwanted materials, along with bags in which to sort their material in their room. Labeled donation bins were located in every res. hall lobby, along with all the recycle bins.

While a portion of the donations go to the OSUsed Store to recoup the costs of the donation drive, the majority went to local nonprofits. In 2015, the following donation materials were collected and processed:
13,268 lbs. of housewares
9,706 lbs. of clothing, linens and shoes
7,618 lbs. of reusable scrap wood
3,358 lbs. of food, toiletries and school supplies

The 2015 total of 33,950 pounds was up from the 23,784 total pounds collected in 2014. Additionally, previous years yielded: 25,979 pounds in 2013, 20,122 in 2012, 17,558 in 2011, and 11,651 in 2010.


A brief description of any other (non-food) waste minimization strategies employed by the institution:

Promoting Reusables
Campus Recycling and the Student Sustainability Initiative promote the use of reusables over disposables by coordinating mug swap-outs (finding students using disposable coffee cups and offering them reusable mugs in return for signing a pledge) and distributing durable goods through its outreach efforts (reusable bags, bottles, mugs, cold cups, and sporks).

Fresh from the Faucet Campaign
"Fresh From The Faucet” is a campus-wide campaign that encourages students, faculty, and staff to reduce their consumption of sugary beverages and bottled water and instead make tap water the number one beverage on campus. This is done by posting signs labeling water filling stations, providing funding for water fountain filters and spigots, providing natural fruit-flavored water as a free beverage option at many dining locations, distributing free reusable bottles, and by hosting activities and booths at campus events.

Repair Fairs
The Student Sustainability Initiative and Campus Recycling hold twice-per-term Repair Fairs to foster a culture of repair and reuse over consumerism. The event allows students, staff, faculty, and members of the public to bring damaged items to receive free repairs. Repairs are given by volunteers - who teach attendees how to make future repairs, as well as fix the item - and cover a variety of categories: clothing, jewelry, bikes, appliances, electronics, and housewares.

Master Recycler Course
OSU Campus Recycling co-sponsors (with Republic Services of Corvallis) the annual Master Recycler program for Linn and Benton counties, an eight-week (non-credit) course that covers all aspects of waste reduction. After completing the course, participants are asked to complete 30 hours of volunteer service educating about and promoting waste reduction, much of which is completed at OSU and in the Corvallis community. One of the eight class days focuses entirely on waste prevention.


A brief description of any food waste audits employed by the institution:

As of the FY15 performance year, no food waste audits had been recently conducted.


A brief description of any programs and/or practices to track and reduce pre-consumer food waste in the form of kitchen food waste, prep waste and spoilage:

OSU's three dining centers and OSU Catering (operated by UHDS) donate rather than discard any eligible food to our local food share.

Our three dining centers keep records of the amount of food that is wasted (spoiled or otherwise unusable) as well as the amount of food donated to the local food share. This information is reported to upper management (who can then address issues with staff) and inventory/ordering adjustments are made as needed. UHDS also annually reviews recipes to insure proper portioning.

One Memorial Union restaurant (Pangea) offers leftovers that cannot be repurposed to their student employees.


A brief description of programs and/or practices to track and reduce post-consumer food waste:

No campus eateries provide buffets or "all you can eat" options; all charge per item in an à la carte style.

Campus restaurants offer many items in multiple sizes to accommodate different appetites (3 portion options for salad bars, half or full sandwiches, small or large wraps, small or full pastries, etc.).

When a dining center hosts conference attendees (attendees from a conference held on campus who receive a meal card as part of their registration), trays are removed so attendees are restricted to only what they can carry by hand.


A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable and/or third party certified compostable to-go containers for to-go food and beverage items (in conjunction with a composting program):

OSU's three dining centers have a reusable to-go container program, Eco2Go, which students and staff have the option to buy into. As an incentive to buy-in, patrons get 20 cents off each meal when they use the container (so the cost of buying in is paid back over time). Program info is at http://oregonstate.edu/uhds/eco2go.

University Housing and Dining Services dining centers provide mostly compostable servingware for to-go items and all three of the centers collect said serving ware for composting. The majority of disposable to-go cups (coffee or soda) served on campus are compostable. Compostable to-go ware can also be composted in departments participating in Campus Recycling's department composting program.


A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable service ware for “dine in” meals and reusable and/or third party certified compostable service ware for to-go meals (in conjunction with a composting program):

Five cafés and five Memorial Union restaurants do not offer reusable dishes for dining in. However, all three University Housing and Dining Services dining centers along with two Memorial Union restaurants (Pangea and JavaStop) offer all reusable dishes for dining in. One (of the six mentioned above) cafes (Java II) offers reusable mugs for dining in. All residence halls host a bin for students to return reusable dishes from the dining centers, reducing the need to buy additional, new durable dishes.

University Housing and Dining Services dining centers provide mostly compostable servingware for to-go items and all three of the centers collect said serving ware for composting. The majority of disposable to-go cups (coffee or soda) served on campus are compostable. Compostable to-go ware can also be composted in departments participating in Campus Recycling's department composting program.


A brief description of any discounts offered to customers who use reusable containers (e.g. mugs) instead of disposable or compostable containers in to-go food service operations:

All campus eateries serving coffee or tea offer 20 or 25 cents off drink purchases using a customer-supplied reusable mug. Several locations offer the same discount for fountain drinks filled in customer-supplied reusable cups. In the FY15 performance year, the Coffee Cup Coup campaign educated the student body about these discounts (http://fa.oregonstate.edu/recycling/events-and-opportunities/coffee-cup-coup-campaign).

Customers using Eco2Go reusable to-go containers receive 20 cents off their purchase each time they have their food packed in an Eco2Go container.


A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:

To discourage bottled water and sugary beverage purchases, all campus eateries provide tap water as a free beverage option. Several locations offer water flavored with real fruit, along with reusable cups, as a free beverage option. In the the eCafe, Java II, and Trader Bing's, the carbonated soft drinks have been removed.

The Coffee Cup Coup was a year-long campaign to promote the disuse of disposable coffee cups and the use of reusable mugs. In order to educate the student body, a line of flyers ran promoting the Coup and its goals throughout the year. Free coffee events were hosted for those who brought a reusable mug. "Beavs Reuse" mugs were also given out as prizes at trivia and other booths. Campaign info is at http://fa.oregonstate.edu/recycling/events-and-opportunities/coffee-cup-coup-campaign.


The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

As compared to our 2005 baseline, data provided for this submission came from improved data gathering and waste hauling measurements.

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.