Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.61
Liaison Brandon Trelstad
Submission Date Dec. 20, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Oregon State University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.62 / 8.00 Andrea Norris
Outreach Coordinator
Campus Recycling
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 780.91 Tons 607 Tons
Materials composted 524.80 Tons 196 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 616.84 Tons 121 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 2,155.38 Tons 3,105 Tons
Total waste generated 4,077.93 Tons 4,029 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, 2017 June 30, 2018
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 June 30, 2005

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 4,744 3,253
Number of employees resident on-site 15 16
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 23,879.10 17,977
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 5,484 4,581
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 4,584 556
Weighted campus users 19,774.07 17,318.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.21 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 Yes
Plant materials Yes
Animal bedding Yes
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) Yes

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

In addition to the commodities in the previous question, OSU also works to divert:
Packing peanuts
Film plastic
Ink/toner cartridges
Electronic storage media (CDs, VHS, floppy disks, etc.)
Fluorescent light bulbs and ballasts
Motor oil
Resale includes additional categories such as computers, shoes/clothing/housewares, office supplies, tools, sporting goods, vehicles and more (http://fa.oregonstate.edu/surplus)

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) :
0 Tons

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:

Bottles and cans are sorted to remove redeemable containers; major contaminants can be removed at this time. "No coffee cups" signs are on some but not all on-the-go recycling units. In this performance year, a new requirement was added for the special event recycling program so that event stations must be monitored.

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:

Waste Watchers
Campus Recycling and the Center for Civic Engagment jointly operate a waste reduction-oriented volunteer club known as the Waste Watchers. Waste Watchers act as advocates for recycling and waste reduction by planning and hosting events to educate their peers.

No Food Left Behind
The No Food Left Behind (NFLB) campaign is an initiative that seeks to spread awareness about wasted food and ways to reduce production of wasted food on and off campus. The campaign is planned by a committee composed of Waste Watcher volunteers, and engages with students through events, social media, and posters located throughout campus. This group is also supported by non-student community members as part of No Food Left Behind Corvallis.

Repair Fairs
Each term, the Center for Civic Engagement and Campus Recycling hold 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, housewares, computers, and musical instruments.

OSU is a long-time participant in the national RecycleMania recycling contest. To promote the competition, Campus Recycling hosts events and collaborates with on-campus groups to host waste-related events of their own. Likewise, OSU and University of Oregon utilize a socially instilled rivalry to host a localized recycling competition between the two universities during the national competition, in order to further promote recycling.

Master Recycler Class
Campus Recycling partners with Republic Services to coordinate a Master Recycler program for Linn and Benton counties in Oregon. This 8-week course educates community members about all aspects of waste reduction and is offered for free to anyone willing to volunteer for 30 hours after completion of the course. The Master Recyclers volunteer at OSU and in the community to educate others about waste reduction.

Other Outreach
Campus Recycling employs one full-time staff and three part-time student staff to work on outreach and the development of new programs, much of which focuses on behavior change. Outreach for recycling and composting occurs via educational events (RecycleMania, Beyond Earth Day, etc.), tabling at events, public presentations and workshops, collaborative partnerships, social media, etc.

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

In October 2017, Campus Recycling and a sustainability course on campus partnered to conduct a snapshot audit of recycling and trash on campus. A random sample of materials from different campus environments was sampled and class participants sorted the material by waste type. The results were them compiled and analyzed, including contamination rates of recycling and trash and common materials found in different waste streams. This audit will serve as a baseline, with an annual audit conducted from now on.

Also in this performance year, residence hall Eco-Representatives (paid student employees who promote sustainable behavior in their halls), conducted three trial periods in their halls, in which they tested different outreach tactics and conducted audits of their halls' recycling to determine if they were effective. Their four rounds of audits provided additional data on contamination rates in the residence halls, which in part resulted in an overhaul in the way recycling is collected in halls the following year.

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste (e.g. by minimizing packaging and purchasing in bulk):

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."

307-003: Environmental Education
"Oregon State University is committed to providing ongoing education to the university community about the importance of environmentally preferable purchasing. This may be accomplished through training workshops, seminars, and creating a web site training page dedicated to assisting campus departments with sustainable purchasing techniques. Existing environmentally friendly Contracts and agreements may be highlighted on the PaCS web page."

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

A brief description of the institution's 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 contract bids. The OSUsed Store hosts sales open to the public twice 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.

Binders are offered free for all.


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):

As noted in another section, at the Surplus Property store, 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. Surplus also has a process to transfer property directly between departments at the university.

After the June 2018 commencement, collection of used caps and gowns was implemented for reuse next year. It was successful and led to the collection of almost 100 caps and gowns being collected its first year. There are plans to continue collecting next year.

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):

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.
- Printing on two-sides, while not required, is asked and incentivized through reduced costs.
- Mass production of club flyers, newsletters, posters, is strictly prohibited. If multiple copies are desired, users need to go to an appropriate copying facility.

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¢ one-sided and 9¢ two-sided
Color laser printing: 25¢ one-sided and 40¢ two-sided
Self-service photocopies: 7¢ with convenience card, 10¢ with cash

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:

The Oregon State University directory has moved online but there are still 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 the institution's program to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:

In 2007 a campus wide initiative to reduce move-in and move-out waste was started. Campus Recycling, Surplus Property, and University Housing and Dining Services (UHDS) join together in a coordinated effort to reduce move-in and move-out waste.

Residents receive 1-2 small recycle bins in their rooms upon move-in. Campus Recycling adds expanded polystyrene (a.k.a. Styrofoam) collection on move-in day and increases the service rate of all recycling in that time period, particularly of cardboard. Furthermore, UHDS encourages students and parents to unwrap and unbox their belongings and leave the packaging at home rather than bringing on move-in day.

The annual Res. Hall Move-Out Donation Drive runs May through June. Marketing begins approximately one month in advance of move-out week. Residents receive announcements about how the move-out process works and can pick up extra bags at the front desk in their res hall for sorting donations. Labeled donation bins are located in every res. hall lobby, along with the recycling unit starting week 9 of the term.

While a portion of the donations go to the OSUsed Store to recoup costs from the donation drive, the majority goes to local nonprofits. In 2018, the following donation materials were collected and processed:
14,889 lbs. of housewares
10,861 lbs. of clothing, linens and shoes
~2,000 lbs. of reusable scrap wood
4,563 lbs. of food, toiletries and school supplies
A total of 32,313 lbs were donated.

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

Repair Fairs
The Center for Civic Engagement and Campus Recycling hold Repair Fairs each term 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 fix the item and make future repairs, covering a variety of categories: clothing, jewelry, bikes, appliances, electronics, housewares, musical instruments, and computers.

Surplus Property
Our surplus program is well-established in our state, and we sell used items to departments, agencies, non-profits and the general public (at our once weekly public sales). This program accounts for a substantial amount of materials diverted from the landfill - in 2016-17 over $700,000 worth of surplus material was sold. Surplus also disassembles and recycles products that cannot be resold, landfilling only the items that are neither resellable nor recyclable.

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

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.