Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.35
Liaison Alexis Reyes
Submission Date Oct. 29, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Pomona College
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.55 / 5.00 Robin Xu
SIO Staff
Sustainability Integration Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 462.66 Tonnes 435.45 Tonnes
Materials composted 160.07 Tonnes 95.25 Tonnes
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 45.18 Tonnes Tonnes
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 463.21 Tonnes 634.12 Tonnes

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 1,488 1,382
Number of residential employees 19 11
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 1,584 1,545
Full-time equivalent of employees 700 545
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 0 0

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2013 June 30, 2014
Baseline Year July 1, 2006 June 30, 2007

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted:

06-07 has been used as a waste baseline for several years because it is the first year for which waste was accurately tracked by the college.

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

Annual waste audits are performed. 6 trash bags are collected from 6 zones on campus (residential, dining, academic, science, administrative, and Smith Campus Center). The bags are opened, and the waste sorted into about a dozen categories, and each category weighed to determine its contribution to the landfill waste produced on campus.

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

A primary goal of the Pomona College Purchasing Policy is, "Reduced waste in the production and use of products, measured by reduced mass sent to landfills."

Environmentally-preferred products are selected for procurement with consideration to various objectives including "Waste/Disposal":
Minimal packaging
Waste minimization through durability
Minimization of hazardous and toxic wastes
Ability to be recycled or disposed of safely
Ability to return the product for refurbishing/reclamation at the end of its life-cycle

see: http://www.pomona.edu/administration/sustainability/policies-procedures/purchasing.aspx

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

The Sustainability Integration Office and the materials reuse program (ReCoop) assist students, staff, and faculty with the collection of unwanted reusable items (including furniture, appliances, clothing/shoes, and school/office supplies) and give or sell them back to the campus community throughout the year. The SIO and ReCoop also run a materials reuse/exchange/donation program (Clean Sweep) for students during move-in and move-out in order to reduce the purchase of new items and the disposal of reusable items. The ReCoopOFFICE program is dedicated specifically to College-owned items and provides a free exchange of office products from file trays to desks and chairs. FreeCoop is a room from which students donate or take used clothing and shoes.

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

Pomona's ITS department has a staff position, Document Management Specialist, whose job it is to digitize business processes and support paperless initiatives. Pomona College course catalogs, the Student Handbook and President's Annual Report are completely electronic. Course registration has also been moved online. Most classes use the Sakai online collaborative learning environment to post syllabi and reading materials, allowing students to print the documents themselves or read them electronically. Payroll information and timesheets are filled out online and paystubs are received electronically (for those participating in direct deposit).

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

Pomona College allots students a printing credit of $5.00 per semester, and $10.00 per semester for Pomona seniors. Printing costs $0.02 per page, regardless of whether they are printed on one or both sides, which encourages double-sided printing. Pomona's Green Office Program encourages and enables offices to set printers to automatically double-side.

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

The Clean Sweep/ReCoop program substantially reduces move-out waste with a team of 30 paid students workers for one week (three days before and three days after Commencement) collecting reusable items from the residence halls and through donation events. Every dorm room on campus is searched for reusable items left behind, and all items are cleaned, organized, and tested for resale. Previously, these items were sent to the landfill. This effort has more than cut in half landfill waste during the move-out period. Items with high resale value for the campus community are stored on campus over the summer and sold in the fall, and items valuable for community and charitable organizations (like clothing, shoes, bedding, books, and home supplies) are donated. The proceeds from ReCoop sales to go fund the Clean Sweep crew and the program's operating costs. In 13-14, Clean Sweep/ReCoop diverted 22.79 tons of move-out waste.

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

In 2013 the College established FreeCoop. A room in a central location on North Campus has been set aside where students can donated unwanted clothes and accessories, and students can stop by, browse and take any items they like, thereby encouraging reuse. In 2014, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) paired with Nike to run a Reuse a Shoe campaign, in which old athletic shoes were donated and the materials recycled into athletic facilities such as tracks, gym floors and turf fields.

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

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:

In 2013, the Sustainability Office hosted a compost competition between the three dining halls on campus in order to encourage pre-consumer composting by dining hall staff. Pre-consumer composting was established at Pomona over seven years ago. Student compost drivers collect pre and post consumer waste collected by dining halls and take it to the Pomona Organic Farm for composting.

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

Pomona College eliminated the use of trays in dining halls beginning in Fall 2009. The change was made for all dining halls in the five Claremont Colleges. A small-scale food waste audit suggested that going trayless may reduce food waste by around 20 pounds per meal in each dining hall, and by about 10% overall. Students are encouraged to compost their vegan food scraps, which are then weighed and used at the organic farm on campus. PEAR (Pomona for Environmental Action and Responsibility) hosts Compost Day annually, giving out cookies to those who compost leftover vegan food scraps.

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):

Dining Services charges $0.50 for biodegradable disposable to-go containers and provides reusable to-go containers and mugs free of charge. Students exchange used reusable containers for a clean one upon entry to the dining hall, where the containers are cleaned with other dishes. The campus cafe, Coop Fountain, also accepts reusable to-go containers and mugs for exchange.

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):

All "dine-in" meals are served on reusable service wear. Guests are encouraged to compost by signage at compost bins that are next to the plate return area. Cups in dining facilities are Preserve 100% recycled PCW products.

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:

The Coop Fountain, run by the Associated Student of Pomona College, offers refills of coffee, tea, and soda for $0.25 if students bring their own reusuable mug or cup, a discount of 75% over the regular price of $1.00. The Sagehen Café offers a $0.25 discount on any beverage for those who bring their own cup.

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

Pomona College Catering offers reusable Corelle dish ware instead of compostable disposables upon request, eliminating any dish ware waste at events. Also, during Class Day dinner Commencement weekend, 1,500 people are served with water dispensers instead of bottled water, as used to be the case until 2014.

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

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.