Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 61.51
Liaison Karen Eckert, Ph.D.
Submission Date March 5, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Principia College
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.77 / 8.00 Dale Desherlia
Head, Flex Crew/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 98.66 Tons 70.67 Tons
Materials composted 33.56 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 2 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 153.15 Tons 224.95 Tons
Total waste generated 287.37 Tons 295.62 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 Jan. 1, 2019 Dec. 31, 2019
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2008 Dec. 31, 2008

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):
The Baseline year is set at 2008 to match the Baseline year for energy.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 407 503
Number of employees resident on-site 75 105
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 35 13
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 407 503
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 267 323
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 503
Weighted campus users 661 407.25

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.43 Tons 0.73 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 No
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Laboratory equipment No
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:
The Department of Facilities has a strong waste diversion program that also includes paints, construction waste, and precious metals.

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) :
2 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:
We are recognized by our hauler (Republic Services) as having an exceptionally clean recycling stream; it's always conveyed to me as "less than 10%".

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:
RecyleMania, intermural competitions, elected EcoHeads (each dormitory has a House Board) with active peer outreach, clear and consistent signage (color-coded) on every disposal bin, videos on social media, recycling module in New Student Orientation.

A brief description of the institution's waste audits and other initiatives to assess its materials management efforts and identify areas for improvement:
Campus waste audit conducted biannually as a partnership between the Facilities Department and Center for Sustainability. The audit reports landfill, single stream recycling, specialty recycling (batteries, electronics, steel, precious metals, paint, light bulbs, and so on), composting, and construction waste. A 2015 department-level waste audit by Dining Services showed an overall diversion rate of 89% (54% non-food recycling, 35% composting).

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste (e.g. by minimizing packaging and purchasing in bulk):
There are no formal policies, but Procurement officers - especially in Dining Services - emphasize minimal and biodegradable packaging; cleaning supplies are purchased (and dispensed) in bulk from wall-mounted closet caddies.

A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:
All residence halls have a Share Box where office supplies, clothing, linings, appliances and electronics, and so on are offered to students for reuse (besides on-campus reduce, ca. 0.50 tones of clothes and miscellaneous student items were donated to Goodwill through the Share Box program 2014) ; the Facilities Department hosts a semi-annual "White Shed Sale" open to the community (658 items of miscellaneous furniture, furnishings, appliances, and equipment - including 15 fleet vehicles - were purposed through the White Shed Surplus and Vehicles Sales in 2014); Items remaining from these efforts are picked-up by community partners for donation to needy families or local schools; specialty equipment (e.g., cardboard baler) is advertised on Craig's List.

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):
Every dorm has a Share Box for (generally) clothing, a Book Drive bin, and electronics and battery recycling bins, We also have a free (donor-system) student book library next to the Dining Room that offers up used textbooks and general reading.

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):
Faculty and staff are encouraged by the Office of Information Technology to limit paper and ink consumption by, for example, eliminating support (supplies, warranty) for in-office printers and supporting networked printers only. Networked printers default on double-sided printing. Paper use monitoring software is installed on all networked printers and data are complied and shared with users.

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:
Faculty are required to use academic technologies including Canvas and Chalk & Wire to create, distribute, and evaluate homework and assessment assignment documents; Agendas and supporting documents for faculty and staff meetings are always presented electronically; Phone books and course catalogs are only available in printed copy upon request; Course schedules are only available online; College publications (e.g., annual report, student magazine) are available online and printed in limited quantity. The Registrar and Admissions offices are increasingly digital, a welcome trend accelerated by COVID.

A brief description of the institution's program to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:
College Flex Crew places additional recycling bins and increases pick-up schedule during move-in/move-out periods; Information is made available to residence halls concerning importance of proper waste disposal

A brief description of the institution's programs or initiatives to recover and reuse other materials intended for disposal:
An annual White Shed Sale offers up to the community a wide range of campus-sourced items for re-homing - including residential and office furniture and accessories, tools, appliances, even vehicles. Items number in the many hundreds; quite remarkable for such a small campus!

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.