Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 45.37
Liaison Angie Kim
Submission Date Oct. 31, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Purchase College - State University of New York
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.28 / 8.00 Angie Kim
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 840.80 Tons 477.36 Tons
Materials composted 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,629.80 Tons 2,255.70 Tons
Total waste generated 2,470.60 Tons 2,733.06 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 April 1, 2018 March 31, 2019
Baseline Year April 1, 2016 March 31, 2017

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 of 2016-2017 was selected for a couple of reasons. The first being that the number of campus users is most similar to the recent reporting year. The second is there was not a dedicated sustainability staff member until 2018. The presence of sustainability staff on campus would account for any positive changes due to programming, events and outreach.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,689 2,671
Number of employees resident on-site 24 26
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 14 22
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 3,918 4,195
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 845 845
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 4,264.50 4,476.25

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.58 Tons 0.61 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 No
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:

Signage is posted above waste bins to educate users to properly sort waste. The cleaning staff is trained to sort contaminated recycling if salvageable.

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:

There are various mechanisms employed at Purchase to create behavior change regarding waste. Signage is posted above various waste bin locations and on-campus living areas to educate how to properly sort waste, regular seminars are taught with waste being an important topic, participation in Recyclemania, food waste audits in dining hall and educational tabling events on central areas on campus.

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

Food waste audits are periodically conducted, about once every two months in the main dining hall to help change behaviors and educate on food waste.

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:

Sustainability Office has established a network for this with neighboring corporate partners. Also, the office facilitates exchanges of materials and supplies among employees.

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):

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):

Computer Technology Services department has set per-student printing quotas and limits on all networked campus 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:

Some session course catalogs are available in limited print supply for those with accessibility needs. All other of the above are available online exclusively.

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

At move-out, and then at move-in, we have a student-run initiative to collect, store, and redistribute salvagable items that would otherwise have been thrown out (and placed into the waste stream).This initiative entails making hundreds of useful items for dorm/apartment living available to students at no cost upon move-in. Students go to large storage containers on campus to pick up items they may need or want such as furniture, storage or electronics. These items are made available by other students who do not need or want them. After Move-In and during the school year, students may donate useful items they just don’t need and take items they don’t have or do need, free of charge. This promotes reducing, re-using, and recycling the large amounts of “stuff.”

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

There is an on-campus composter that is fed with prep food waste from one of the dining locations on campus. Data is not regularly collected therefore not counted in this report.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.