Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.33
Liaison Kristin Larson
Submission Date July 31, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

San Diego State University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.21 / 8.00 Charlotte Roberts
Zero Waste student intern
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 815.89 Tons 677.70 Tons
Materials composted 381.23 Tons 317.40 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 61.53 Tons 15.60 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 2,182.39 Tons 1,889.50 Tons
Total waste generated 3,441.04 Tons 2,900.20 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, 2018 June 30, 2019
Baseline Year July 1, 2015 June 30, 2016

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 6,952 2,807
Number of employees resident on-site 43 69
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 32,304 29,955
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 3,743 3,491
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 28,784 25,803.50

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.12 Tons 0.11 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 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:

Our student-led Sustainability Commission, Green Love, hosts a campus-wide Swap Shop every spring on Earth Day. The initiative started on Earth Day 2017. Hundreds of students attend and participate in exchanging their secondhand clothing.

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) :
13.80 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:

Bin signage with icons and words of what should/shouldn't go into each bin, student-led trash talking events at eateries. Our hauler contract has a significant focus on recycling and diversion.

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:

Office of Sustainability Zero Waste student intern, Charlotte Roberts, worked with EcoReps to host a DIY upcycled wellness event, a single-use plastic art exhibit, and an educational trash-talking day in East Commons to celebrate RecycleMania and cultivate conversations between campus stakeholders about waste. A waste diversion dashboard by building was created and will go live in 2020. New bins and signage has been placed in every building to increase continuity. Each classroom has a recycling bin to accompany the landfill bin.

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

Associated Students conducted a waste audit of two days-worth of landfill and recycling streams in the Student Union. The Student Union is pursuing TRUE Zero Waste Certification. We have color coded dumpsters and dedicated trucks for accurate weighing where individual dumpsters are weighed daily to determine diversion by area and look for improvements. Our granular recycling weights are stored and analyzed in our platform called SkySpark. We coordinate student and staff visits to the local materials recovery facility. All trash bags are now black and recycle bags are clear to provide chain of custody through the process. Custodial training on proper recycling is done each spring.

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

Student interns and our senate subcommittee on sustainability are working on a more robust EPP in coordination with Procurement. SDSU currently has a contract with Staples for automatically purchasing green alternative office supplies and other materials with an auto substitution program that mandates EPP for hundreds of items.

We also have a purchasing policy that states we must purchase recycled content paper, recycled glass products, recycled plastic products, recycled metal products, and other items whenever possible. The purchasing agents at our campus attend recycle product procurement training during the year.

Seeking to improve our electronics recycling program, SDSU hosted a full day workshop with EPEAT in 2019 to provide targeted training to SDSU appropriate personnel and local universities.

A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

Our campus has a State surplus sale program that prevents our used equipment and furniture from being thrown away in our landfills. Employees in campus departments have the opportunity of using surplus materials before they are put up for external auction.

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):

We have a Green Office Certification Program and a student intern whose job is to visit offices on campus and teach about sustainability practices, which include reducing waste and reminding staff/faculty to call Surplus when they have electronics, furniture, clothing, etc. they no longer want.

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):

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:

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

We have zero-waste move-in and move-out for the residence halls each year, always with at least 95% diversion. Campus move-in has reached over 98% diversion, including a significant amount of film plastics and donations (2.6 tons of food and 19.4 tons of durable goods).

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

Some sustainability events bring their post-consumer food waste to our on-site compost pilot, and we are working on expanding this collection. Alao, a network was started between our catering/dining organization on campus, Office of Sustainability, Student Union staff, Health Promotion and Wellness, and identity centers to coordinate strategies for getting excess catered food to hungry students. Carpet gets disposed of in construction and demolition rolloff dumpsters.

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:

We do not have data for the satellite site at Imperial Valley or Research Foundation. Users have been reduced to match up with the data set.

We do not have data for the satellite site at Imperial Valley or Research Foundation. Users have been reduced to match up with the data set.

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.