Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.39
Liaison Yolanda Cieters
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Seattle University
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.29 / 8.00 Richard Moyer
Sustainable Operations & Projects Manager
Facilities Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 428.10 Tons 411.50 Tons
Materials composted 919.90 Tons 414.70 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 35.20 Tons 21.40 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 554.10 Tons 526.90 Tons
Total waste generated 1,937.30 Tons 1,374.50 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility:

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Period July 1, 2017 June 30, 2018
Baseline Period July 1, 2010 June 30, 2011

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

The baseline year is FY2011; the performance year is FY2018.
In 2011, SU added staffing to determine a baseline and institute formal measuring, which was mandated by the signing of the Climate Action Plan (2010).

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 1,794 1,664
Number of employees resident on-site 43 37
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 6,902 6,833
Full-time equivalent of employees 1,326 1,235
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 27 0
Weighted campus users 6,610 6,476.25

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.29 Tons 0.21 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
Electronics 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:

Vinyl banners
Large plastic items
Other donate-able items from clothing to office supplies

Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year:
0 Tons

Does the institution use single stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Does the institution use dual stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Does the institution use multi-stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program:

A brief description of any recycling quality control mechanisms employed:

Materials collected from scheduled office clean-outs are sorted by recycling staff before being donated, recycled, or disposed of. Custodial staff are trained to identify contamination and divert bags of contaminated recycling to landfill.

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives:

*Chartwells, the dining and food services provider on campus, hosts annual waste reduction events and on-site training for students to learn about composting their organic and food waste.
*Seattle University Facilities-Operations hosts an annual “Garbology” event in the winter where students and other volunteers are encouraged to help sort and audit waste collected from across campus
*Seattle University Facilities-Operations hosts an annual Community Recycling Day in the spring where campus and local community members can bring in their hard-to-recycle items and learn about what is recyclable on campus.
*SU participated in Recyclemania, the nationwide recycling and waste diversion competition, for the first time in 2017, and has done so every year since. The competition encourages students to reduce and recycle their waste. SU landed on 6th position in 2018, 20th in 2019, and 6th in 2020 for the waste diversion competition category.
*Seattle University has a zero waste internship program and partners with the Post Landfill Action network for education and outreach towards zero waste.
*Seattle University recently updated its waste signage and website to make it more clear and easy for campus members to divert waste. Items on the signs reflect actual waste commonly generated at SU.
*CEJS and SU Facilities-Operations host "trash talks" where volunteers do outreach to diners at the waste bins to educate about waste sorting and reduce contamination.

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

*SU conducts annual waste audits for all residential buildings on campus over the 8-week period of Recyclemania.
*An inventory of waste collection bins across campus is conducted annually over the summer and recommendations for improvement are made.
*Results from annual “Garbology” waste audit events inform waste collection and education programs.

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

*There is no bottled water distributed or sold on campus. SU has installed bottle filler spouts on most of the drinking fountains to support the use of reusable water bottles.
*All to-go food containers sold on campus are certified compostable.
*At the SU bookstore, you can rent books that are reused and out of date books are donated.
*SU uses Canvas as a way for students to interact outside of the classroom, it allows for work to be turned in electronically.
*Since FY21, SU purchases 100% PCW recycled paper. The default setting for all Managed Print Services (MPS) printers is "double-sided"

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

Surplus furniture is kept in a warehouse for use elsewhere on campus. SU uses leased modular office equipment that is more easily used in different areas of campus.

A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse:


A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption:

*Since FY21, SU purchases 100% PCW recycled paper. The default setting for all Managed Print Services (MPS) printers is "double-sided"

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

SU does not print the course catalog, schedule, or the faculty/staff directory but makes these materials available online. Most forms that a student would need to fill out from application to graduation are available to fill out online. Timecards for employees are filled out online. All procurement at SU is processed through an electronic purchasing system (ProcureSU).

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

During Move-In, SU offers collection services for extra cardboard and Styrofoam for recycling. During Move-Out, each residence hall has a collection station up for 10-14 days with bins to collect clothes, packaged food, household items, school supplies, toiletries, and recyclables. Move-Out collects about 30 to 45 tons of material that is diverted from going to a landfill.

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

SU offers waste collection stations at over 200 locations on campus. Each station includes single stream recycling, compost, and trash with signage explaining what items should go where.

Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

--Reporting year for this credit: FY18 (therefore numbers are different from PRE-4 and PRE-5. PRE-4 and PRE-5 credit data is for FY19).

--Note that for student residents, we adjusted our numbers for the performance year: the number of student on-site residents in FY18 was 2,094.0. But because the waste data we report on in this credit OP18 only includes the buildings that we own and manage (operational boundary; excluding any leased buildings), we subtracted 300 students from the total number of student residents (that is the combined capacity of two residence halls that SU leases and for which we do not report any waste data in this credit OP18).
The baseline year (FY11) numbers for student residents was also revised: the number of students resident on-site in FY11 was 1,923. One leased residence hall was in use since FY10 with a capacity of 259 beds. We subtracted 259 from the total number of students resident on-site in baseline year FY11.

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.