Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.66
Liaison Enid Cardinal
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Rochester Institute of Technology
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.94 / 8.00 Enid Cardinal
Senior Sustainability Advisor to the President
Office of the President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,130.60 Tons 1,552.56 Tons
Materials composted 147.98 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 41.65 Tons 5.20 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,692.37 Tons 2,196.59 Tons
Total waste generated 3,012.60 Tons 3,754.35 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, 2016 June 30, 2017
Baseline Year July 1, 2011 June 30, 2012

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):

FY2011 was established as the baseline year because it was the first full year with the current waste hauler. Prior to FY2011, data tracking was inconsistent and would not be comparable to the performance year.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 7,194 7,299
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 13,699 14,024
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 3,568 3,336
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 139 285
Weighted campus users 14,644.50 14,631

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.21 Tons 0.26 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) No

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

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) :

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:

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:

RIT completed a signage overhaul last year, shifting from general icons to photographs of specific materials utilized in different areas.

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

Every fall semester a graduate class in the Golisano Institute for Sustainability conducts a waste audit of the same 3 academic buildings, enabling longitudinal study of materials in those buildings.

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste (e.g. by minimizing packaging and purchasing in bulk):
A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

A faculty/staff list-serve is utilized to facilitate sharing of office supplies and equipment across campus.

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):

Several RIT Facebook groups exist to facilitate the exchange of goods including Free and For Sale RIT and RIT FoodShare.

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):

In FY2015 a university wide print management contract was established. The program is being implemented over a three year period and involves the elimination of desk top printers.

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:

Directories and calendars are available for download online. Printed copies have to be order at the expense of the requester.

A brief description of the institution's program to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:

Goodbye, Goodbuy! is a move out collection program and move in sale. Items are collected from all RIT residence halls and apartments during spring move out. Those materials are sorted and stored over the summer and then sold to incoming students in the fall.

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

Any materials (office supplies, ink cartridges, furniture) that a department no longer wants, is posted to the RIT Faculty/staff listerv for reuse elsewhere on campus. Materials typically find homes within a few minutes of posting.

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

In FY2012, the university decommissioned a large scale printing press. That resulted in a dramatic drop in paper use and by extension paper being recycled on campus (from 720 tons in FY2011 to 58 tons in FY2015).

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.