Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 53.09
Liaison DeLayne Miller
Submission Date Dec. 18, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Tennessee Technological University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.45 / 8.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 249.21 Tons 253.02 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 1,025.43 Tons 1,160 Tons
Total waste generated 1,274.64 Tons 1,413.02 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, 2012 June 30, 2013

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 year was chosen according to when the student-led recycling program started. Early on, there were still times of missing information. The totals reported here are what is documented and able to be verified. Campus composting started FY14.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,252 2,514
Number of employees resident on-site 75 70
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 8,724 9,890
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 1,176.32 1,154
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 352.18 350
Weighted campus users 7,742.86 8,666.50

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.16 Tons 0.16 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 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:

Deceased livestock and animal bedding are composted, electronic equipment is also recycled. Light bulbs are crushed and recycled using the Bulb Crusher.

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:

Our main challenge with recycling is people not disposing of items in the correct container. We have tried to remedy this with more education; including posters, digital signage messages and social media reminders. We have tried to change placement of bins in order to increase efficiency of recycling. New bins with more comprehensive signage are being distributed across campus. Additionally, we have had volunteers present at events with recycling and composting available, who help direct participants on proper disposal practices.

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:

Efforts have been made to educate the campus community as to what can be recycled on campus and the impact that recycling can make on the environment. We have used posters, digital signage messages and social media. As a recipient of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's Education and Outreach Grant, the Office of Sustainability is in the process of launching a recycling educational program that includes increased paper-saving digital signage,the purchasing of recycle bins made from recycled materials, and more. https://www.tntech.edu/planning-and-finance/facilities/sustainability/our-projects/recycling

Residential Life has held recycling competitions between dorms and between floors in the same building. All TTU students who live on campus are provided with a free personal recycling bin.

TTU has also invested in waste-diverting student research, such as Project Regrind in which mechanical engineering students recycled water bottles into 3-D printer filament. https://www.tntech.edu/planning-and-finance/facilities/sustainability/our-projects/research-and-academics

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

The university conducted their first waste audit Spring 2019 in conjunction w/ Eatable. One day of cafeteria trash is sorted to better understand what is still in our waste stream. Specific weights are gathered to record what percentage of materials in the trash could have been recycled, composted or donated. All recyclables were divided up and weighed separately. Meals donated that day were not within the waste stream.

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

The TTU Warehouse routinely purchases in bulk in order to reduce cost and packaging waste. The Warehouse also collects surplus property ranging from furniture, educational tools, technology, and more. The surplus materials are either checked out by the campus community to be reused or sold on GovDeals.com. https://www.tntech.edu/facilities/warehouse.php

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

The Warehouse Manager is responsible for the disposal of all Surplus property. For security purposes, all computers must be properly processed by the Information Technology Services department prior to being picked up as Surplus. The Warehouse holds online auctions for the sale of Surplus property via the GovDeals.com website.

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):

The TTU College of Business sponsors the Professional Clothes Closet Program. The Closet allows students to check out business attire for free. Additionally, the COB will host a large purging sale of items when the Closet starts to get full. Students can purchase professionally clothing at significantly reduced prices. https://cobstudentsuccess.com/professional-closet/
TTU offers a student-funded and student-facilitated Bike Share Program. Through the Bike Share Program, students can check out a bike all day for free. https://www.tntech.edu/sustainability/bikeshare.php
The TTU Bookstore offers students the option of renting textbooks. Students are able to rent the books for a specified time at a reduced cost and return the books at the end of each semester, saving students an average of 50% on textbooks. https://tenn-tech.bncollege.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/BNCBTextbookFaqsView?catalogId=10001&langId=-1&storeId=28563
For students who decide to purchase their books, the TTU Bookstore offers a Sell Back Program where students can sell their textbooks back to the Bookstore at the end of each semester to be reused. https://tenn-tech.bncollege.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/BNCBSellBackTextbookView?langId=-1&storeId=28563&catalogId=10001 The Bookstore also provides a receptacle for donated text books to Better World Books. If text books cannot be sold back or returned, they can be place in the donation box for this resell program.
Furthermore, students have the option to rent camping supplies through Outdoor Program Rentals at the TTU Fitness Center. Instead of purchasing the equipment new, students have the option of one to two night checkouts of supplies ranging from camping tents to backpacks. https://www.tntech.edu/recreation/outpost
The TTU Library offers lending services that include more than just books. Students are able to check out equipment such as HDMI chords, projectors, DVDs, and more. https://www.tntech.edu/stem/lending-library

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):

Students pay a semester printing fee of $30, so this allows only a limited amount of printing per semester. The printers are set up to automatically print double-sided unless manually changed by the student. Student printing is tracked so that the students are aware of how much they have spent printing and how much printing money they have left.

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:

Course catalogs, course flowcharts, and directories are all available online. The universities newsletter is sent out to all of the campus community via email, saving paper and ink.

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

Recycling bins are located in each residence hall, and individual bins are provided for each dorm room. Digital signage that promotes recycling and reducing waste is displayed at all times in the residence halls as well.

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

TTU offers a recycling program that is student ran and funded by the University Green Fee.The university is recycling more than 350 tons of paper, cardboard, metals, aluminum cans, fluorescent tubes and ballasts, tires, wood pallets, yard waste and plastic each year. The recovery of a ton of paper saves approximately 4.3 cubic yards of landfill space.

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:

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.