Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.95
Liaison Jenny McNamara
Submission Date June 30, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Portland State University
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.39 / 5.00 Tony Hair
Waste Management Coordinator
Campus Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 513.30 Tons 606.34 Tons
Materials composted 241.20 Tons 131.10 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 32.40 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,967.90 Tons 1,885.48 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 2,079 1,272
Number of residential employees 53 30
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 20,214.41 15,296
Full-time equivalent of employees 2,437 3,264
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 647 0

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:

It was chosen because of the quality/inclusiveness of the data we have for that year.


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

Currently in its second year of PSU's Living Lab program, WALL-E is partnering with four University Studies Freshman Inquiry courses aimed at conducting a year-long applied research project on the topic of waste. Via student-conducted waste sorts, valuable waste data is collected for the Campus Sustainability Office and students work to develop and implement various interventions to address waste reduction on campus. In the two years of WALL-E implementation, over 14 waste audits of landfill-bound waste have been conducted by PSU Freshman and over 2 tons of waste has been sorted.


A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:
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A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

PSU ReUse Room
Location: Cramer Hall Rm. 180
Open all the time.

The PSU Reuse Room collects and redistributes gently used, surplus office, school, and small household supplies for free that would otherwise be recycled or thrown out.

A few examples of reusable materials are:
* 1/2" to 2" Binders
* File Folders
* Pens/Pencils
* Desktop File Organizers
* Staplers/staples
* Paper clips
* Paper

The PSU ReUse Room is run by volunteers from the university to help manage waste throughout campus. The ReUse room is dependent on volunteers and donations to help make this campus a more sustainable environment

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Surplus Department

Captures surplus furniture and electronics that are available to campus departments for reuse. Remaining items are sold or donated.


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

PSU no longer prints the course bulletin. They are available for purchase from the PSU bookstore. Free PDFs are available online http://www.pdx.edu/oaa/psu-bulletin
No course schedules or directories are printed.

Transcripts are available in electronic format as well.

There are numerous ways students can access course materials electronically through the library and online learning platform, D2L.


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

Students are allowed 500 free pages per term. A program called "Hold and Release" limits accidental printing (most labs now require users to enter their user name at a kiosk before printing takes place, which greatly reduces print error and waste) and informs students of the environmental impacts of their printing each quarter.


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

Chuck it for Charity is a campus wide effort to reduce waste by diverting reusables to people in need. PSU Housing, in collaboration with the Campus Sustainability Office encourages students to bring unwanted household items, food, & clothing to the donation stations in various residence hall locations. Instead of filling up the landfill, students have the opportunity to Chuck It For Charity! In spring of 2014, the program diverted 18,350 pounds of reusable goods to the four different charities including ARC of Multnomah-Clackamas, Gaia Movement, Community Warehouse, and Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Chuck It collects:
· Non-perishable food items
· Clothing
· Toasters
· Utensils
· Small appliances & electronics
· Pots & pans


A brief description of any other (non-food) waste minimization strategies employed by the institution:
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A brief description of any food waste audits employed by the institution:
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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:
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A brief description of programs and/or practices to track and reduce post-consumer food waste:

In September 2008, PSU Dining went tray-less in the residential dining hall, Victor’s in the Ondine. Going tray-less conserves water, energy, and chemical cleaners used to wash trays. Tray-less dining also promotes healthier eating habits and reduces over consumption and food waste.


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):

PSU's two dining halls, Victor's in the Ondine, and Viking Food Court offer durable plastic to-go containers that can be returned for cleaning in exchange for a token that can be used for a clean container at the next visit.
Purchase your Green Thread food container at Victor's in the Ondine or at the food court in Smith Center for just $3.50.


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):

Victor's dining hall offers reusable china and cutlery for dine in meals.

PSU's two dining halls, Victor's in the Ondine, and Viking Food Court offer durable plastic to-go containers that can be returned for cleaning in exchange for a token that can be used for a clean container at the next visit.
Purchase your Green Thread food container at Victor's in the Ondine or at the food court in Smith Center for just $3.50.


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:

For a latte or non-drip drink PSU Dining offers a 15 cent discount, but drip coffee, iced tea, and fountain beverages are priced at 95 cents when you bring your own mug (no matter the size of the cup) as opposed to $1.65 (small) $1.95 (medium) or $2.25 (large). Thus, the maximum discount is $1.30 for using a reusable mug.


A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

PSU's hauler does not provide actual weight of materials. All data are the result of driver estimates of container fullness.

Performance year - FY2015

Recycled includes:
Commingle (mixed fibers, cardboard, rigid plastics, scrap metal, and glass)

Compost includes:
Organics (landscaping debris, food scraps, wood waste)

Materials reused, donated or re-sold, baseline year is entered as zero because that information was not tracked in the baseline year.

Total employees added in FTE employees fields.

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.