Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.64
Liaison Rachael Wein
Submission Date March 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Smith College
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.91 / 8.00 Emma Kerr
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Campus 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 192 Tons 301.79 Tons
Materials composted 1,456 Tons 68.58 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 15.50 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 577 Tons 2,128.88 Tons
Total waste generated 2,240.50 Tons 2,499.25 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility, including affirmation that materials are sorted prior to conversion to recover recyclables and compostable materials:
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Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2015 June 30, 2016
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 June 30, 2005

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):

Oldest year in STARS baseline year guidelines


Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,874 2,400
Number of employees resident on-site 6 6
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 2,804 2,796
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 1,137.33 1,128.31
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 3,676.00 3,544.73

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.61 Tons 0.71 Tons

Percentage reduction in total waste generated per weighted campus user from baseline:
13.55

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator by recycling, composting, donating or re-selling, performance year:
74.25

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator (including up to 10 percent attributable to post-recycling residual conversion):
74.25

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 Yes
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:

Horse manure and bedding from Smith's Athletics stables.


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?:
No

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?:
Yes

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?:
No

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:

Smith College has a zero waste events initiative wherein event organizers can plan zero waste events, where only compost and recycling is generated. Compost and extra recycling bins are supplied, and trash bins are removed. All items given to event attendees are either compostable or recyclable, and student zero waste crew members are on hand to help attendees sort their waste appropriately. Signage and banners are used to educate guests about the goal of zero waste events and proper waste sorting.

In the Spring of 2016 we began a program called Trash for Treats in order to better collect usable clothing and recyclables before students move out. Facilities staff drive a truck around to different student residences over the course of three evenings during final exam week. Students who bring out clothing or recyclables are given a free dessert from a food truck that travels around campus with the Facilities truck. This helped us capture usable and recyclable items before the rush of move-out, during which many items aren't salvaged or sorted properly. This program was very successful, and we will be running it again each spring.


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

Eco-Reps and Green Team members have performed highly visible waste audits on the Chapin Lawn during Earth Week for the past several years to illustrate to students just how much compostable and recyclable material they are throwing away and to encourage reduction of waste overall.


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

Dining Services uses bulk dispensers to reduce packaging materials in student dining rooms for juices, sodas, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and most cereals.

Smith has banned the sale of bottled water across most of the campus. Bottled water is not offered in student dining halls. Catered meals that include water utilize bulk dispensers. Bottled water can be sold only in the Grecourt Bookstore and Campus Center Cafe, but must be a brand that is sourced from within a 500 mile radius.


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

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):

Each student residential house has a Free Box where students are encouraged to bring clothing and other items that they no longer want but are usable. Other students are encouraged to take items that they will use.


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):

There is no free printing for students in any computer labs/libraries, which has resulted in a significant decrease in paper waste. Most MFD's on campus are set to print double-sided as default.

Dining Services has installed computers in all the kitchens to speed up communication and cut down on paper usage.


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:

Smith College's course catalog is available online to reduce printed copies.


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

During move-in, there are programs to share used furniture so that students don't have to buy new, and Facilities works to collect all the cardboard for recycling.

In the Spring of 2016 we began a program called Trash for Treats in order to better collect usable clothing and recyclables before students move out. Facilities staff drive a truck around to different student residences over the course of three evenings during final exam week. Students who bring out clothing or recyclables are given a free dessert from a food truck that travels around campus with the Facilities truck. This helped us capture usable and recyclable items before the rush of move-out, during which many items aren't salvaged or sorted properly. Facilities had been traveling around campus to collect clothing and recyclables like this for several years, but the addition of the on-the-spot food incentive was new and effective. This program was very successful, and we will be running it again each spring.

The Lewis Global Studies Center also collects winter clothing items from international students who do not need these items in their home country, and would otherwise be throwing the clothing out, and offers them to other students who need winter wear the following year.


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

All furniture is recycled through IRN (Institutional Recycling Network). Smith prefers re-use over recycling, and works to re-use furniture, even if it has a higher monetary value for recycling.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The large jump in compost tonnage from FY05 is due to Smith starting an internal composting program for the manure from its horse stables.

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.