Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.85
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 11, 2020

STARS v2.2

Texas A&M University
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.59 / 8.00 Nathan Jones
Manager, Water & Envrionmental Services
Utilities & Energy 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 14,145 Tons 716 Tons
Materials composted 1,646 Tons 362 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 6,565 Tons 13,442 Tons
Total waste generated 22,356 Tons 14,520 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 Sept. 1, 2019 Aug. 31, 2020
Baseline Period Sept. 1, 2004 Aug. 31, 2005

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

The baseline was selected because this was what recycling efforts typically looked like before we enhanced our program and established a partnership with a local recycling/composting partner. Before 2004, waste minimization efforts were not emphasized and once the program was strengthened and prioritized our diversion rate jumped from ~10% to above ~60%. This was also the time frame for when the university began holistically collecting data for waste streams outside of Utilities and Energy Services. Due to the significant steps taken to improve, there is a significant gap between recycling/composting numbers in the performance and baseline years. Ultimately, this baseline was used to inform our Sustainability Master Plan evergreen goal of achieving zero waste by 2050.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 10,075 9,353
Number of employees resident on-site 235 169
Number of other individuals resident on-site 36 3
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 60,416 44,435
Full-time equivalent of employees 9,051 7,688
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1,236 0
Weighted campus users 53,786.75 41,475.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.42 Tons 0.35 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) No
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:

Sewer sludge from the wastewater treatment plant operations is land applied to adjacent properties where costal rye grass is grown and cut for hay.

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:

TAMU delivers materials to a local commercial recycling operation who handles the quality control per their permitting agreement with the State of Texas.

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

TAMU has formally approved and began an uniform recycling labeling program and marketing campaign in increase recycling from university facilities and grounds in 2016. A Solid Waste Minimization Specialist was added in 2017 to further enhance the facilities and ground recycling programs. Standardized interior and exterior recycling containers were approved for campus use in 2018.

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

TAMU pays a third party commercial recycling company to perform waste audits of specific containers on an as needed basis. The audits are coordinated with the various reporting groups and the data is shared with each.

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


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

The Surplus Property Office maintains a list of current surplus or salvage property and informs Texas A&M University and/or system members, other state agencies, political subdivisions, and assistance organizations of the Surplus Property and make available for viewing Monday thru Friday during normal business hours. Customers browsing the warehouse claim items and file the appropriate property transfer forms with the Surplus Office.

During the ten (10) business days after property is viewable and transferred to the Surplus Property Office, a transfer to another state agency/Texas A&M University Department has priority over any other type of transfer.

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:

Students receive an allocation of printing as part of their Computer Access Fee. Any printing in excess of their allocation is billed to the student.

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

Texas A&M no longer prints the course catalog or the course schedule. The last time the course catalog was printed was the '09 - '10 version. This was the 132nd course catalog printed in Texas A&M's history. Catalog 133 and 134 were available only online in a PDF version. Catalog 135 is currently being constructed and there are no plans to print it.

Course schedules are also available only online. The last course schedule printed was in the Fall of 2003.

The campus directory is printed; however, measures have been taken to reduce the amount of paper needed in the creation and distribution of the directory. The information collected to compile the ever-changing directory is done electronically, through pdfs. In the past this information was collected through paper. Additionally, only a limited number of directory copies are printed each semester. These are distributed only on request, since the directory is available online.

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

Texas A&M University partners with one or several of the local entities that handles re-usable materials (e.g., Goodwill, Salvation Army, Twin Cities Missions). These entities will establish both personed and unpersoned locations in both the primary residence hall areas.

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

Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts 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.