Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.69
Liaison Elizabeth Drake
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Swarthmore College
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.09 / 8.00 Melissa Tier
Sustainability Program Manager
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 160 Tons 0 Tons
Materials composted 344 Tons 179 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 20 Tons 14 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 500 Tons 760 Tons
Total waste generated 1,024 Tons 953 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility:
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Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Period Jan. 1, 2019 Dec. 31, 2019
Baseline Period Jan. 1, 2012 Dec. 31, 2012

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

Many of these numbers come from the recycling report to the PA DEP each year. Other numbers are collected through facilities, ITS, grounds, and maintenance. The number for the performance year was gathered in the fall of 2016 as a part of the waste characterization study that is reassessing the waste system currently implemented at Swarthmore. Baseline year numbers for 2012 were used as a point of comparison in the waste characterization study.


Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 1,507 1,443
Number of employees resident on-site 5 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 1,664 1,552
Full-time equivalent of employees 926 713
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 2,320.50 2,059.50

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.44 Tons 0.46 Tons

Percentage reduction in total waste generated per weighted campus user from baseline:
4.64

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator by recycling, composting, donating or re-selling, performance year:
51.17

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator (including up to 10 percent attributable to post-recycling residual conversion):
51.17

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 No
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets No
Tires Yes
Other (please specify below) No

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

All of the utensils and containers used by our dining services vendors across campus are compostable (Greenware). Clothing and dorm furniture is also frequently donated and resold (without charge) to our free store at the end of school years for the use of other students in future semesters.


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

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

Does the institution use dual stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:
No

Does the institution use multi-stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:
No

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program:
84.80

A brief description of any recycling quality control mechanisms employed:

Compost contamination is directly sorted by student workers; recycling contamination rate has gone dramatically down since education efforts of the general campus have increased.
Formalized waste sort trainings during orientation + uniform signage has had a striking impact on the contamination rates in compost and recycling.


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

The College has launched a multi-year waste-related behavior change educational campaign, which has resulted in annual training sessions at New Student/Staff/Faculty Orientations, workshops at departmental meetings, and sessions at a variety of student internship trainings (e.g., Residential Assistant training). Standardized waste stations (each with an attached compost, recycling, and trash bin) are being installed in every campus hallway to facilitate sorting behavior. Instructive signage has also been made for these bins (one for each waste stream) in close collaboration with College's Communications department.

Signage: https://www.swarthmore.edu/sustainability/waste-signs


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

The College now hosts an annual waste audit that samples waste over several days from ~6 campus buildings. We aim to make this a fun community event each fall, with music, activities, and a variety of educational opportunities. Other waste audits of buildings occur throughout the year as requested/determined.


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

In 2018-2019, a President's Sustainability Research Fellow led the development of an ITS Printer Policy (https://kb.swarthmore.edu/display/PRIN/Printing+Home) and Events Catering Policy (https://www.swarthmore.edu/events-management/green-events-guide). To date, these have only been informally implemented.


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

The Worthmore Free Store is a donation-based enterprise that provides access to room furnishings and other supplies for students who may otherwise face cost or transport barriers in obtaining such items. Community members are able to donate or select items throughout the year during store hours, but most donations occur during spring move-out. Worthmore offers a large-scale collection program in the last few weeks of the semester.

Website: https://www.swarthmore.edu/sustainability/worthmore


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

All printing is set to double sided default settings. When printing posters or anything with colored ink in the Media Center, students must release their prints and are limited to the amount they are able to print.


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

The college directory, and course schedules are only online. Course catalogs are available online through the Registrar's Office website. All printing for public printers is set to a default setting to print double sided.


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

The Worthmore Free Store is a donation-based enterprise that provides access to room furnishings and other supplies for students who may otherwise face cost or transport barriers in obtaining such items. Community members are able to donate or select items throughout the year during store hours, but most donations occur during spring move-out. Worthmore offers a large-scale collection program in the last few weeks of the semester. In the fall, Green Advisors play a key role in move-in waste management through both educational efforts (e.g., sessions during New Student Orientation) and operationally with short-term specialized dumpsters provision.

Website: https://www.swarthmore.edu/sustainability/worthmore


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

There are unofficial buy and sell groups across different social media platforms in which used furniture, clothing, and other appliances are exchanged between students.


Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Baseline year for this submission was 2012 (numbers used from 2012 STARS report) while performance year was 2019.

Recycling values were not collected from 2012 (baseline year), explaining the 0 value.

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.