Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.15
Liaison Mary Ellen Mallia
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2023

STARS v2.2

University at Albany
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.63 / 8.00 Mary Ellen Mallia
Director of Environmental Sustainability
Finance and Business
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 309 Tons 238 Tons
Materials composted 56 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 1,234 Tons 2,623 Tons
Total waste generated 1,599 Tons 2,861 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 April 1, 2021 March 31, 2022
Baseline Period July 1, 2004 June 30, 2005

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted:
The baseline is in line with the year prior to any sustainability related initiatives on campus.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 6,628 7,160
Number of employees resident on-site 43 43
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 15,182 15,875
Full-time equivalent of employees 3,055 3,649
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1,382 0
Weighted campus users 14,309 16,443.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.11 Tons 0.17 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
Electronics Yes
Laboratory equipment No
Furniture Yes
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:
The university participates in a single stream recycling program. The food waste in the dining halls is composted.

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?:

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:
Janitorial staff are trained in the proper waste diversion techniques and acceptable contamination levels. Additionally, the university has an educational program designed to communicate instructions and conduct demonstrations to the campus community as to what items can be recycled and/or composted.

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives:
The University participates in Campus Race to Zero Waste and accompanies this with a campus education program that involves blast emails, electronic bulletin articles, passive programming (fliers, brochures), demonstrations and pledges.

A brief description of the institution's waste audits and other initiatives to assess its materials management efforts and identify areas for improvement:
Last year, the university created an educational program focused on the reduction of plastics on campus. Several events informing campus members of sustainable swaps for plastic and the impact on the production and disposal of plastics was held, culiminating in a talk by Judith Enck, the former EPA regional administrator.

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste:
The university promotes and educates on the SUNY and state purchasing guidelines, specifications and contracts for green purchases. https://ogs.ny.gov/greenny

A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:
The Office of Asset Management oversees the surplus program for campus. They maintain a robust list of surplus items available. http://web.albany.edu/its/webgroup/equipment/surplus.asp Items that can't be exchanged internally are sent to the state Office of General Services surplus shop where items are exchanged or sold via Ebay.

A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse:
The Office of Sustainability employs a zero waste intern who manages a Free Friday program, where items are exchanged informally. This mainly consists of office supplies but has hosted additional materials such as gift wrapping supplies prior to the holidays. In addition, various student groups have hosts clothing exchanges.

A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption:
The University at Albany's Library services have set their printers to automatically print double-sided and users must pay for printing.

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to make materials available online by default rather than printing them:
Course catalogs, schedules and directories are all on-line. The University at Albany encourages faculty to utilize Blackboard Online Learning System or their own webpages to store class materials, documents and syllabi for students to access online, instead of printing out hard copies.

A brief description of the institution's program to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:
Residential Life encourages recycling of move in materials. A student organization, Young Socialist Democrats of America, oversaw a collection of items at move out last year and distributed their supplies this fall on campus for free.

A brief description of the institution's programs or initiatives to recover and reuse other materials intended for disposal:
A multi-compartment unit is available in the campus center to collect eyeglasses, light bulbs, ink jets and spent pens, pencils and markers. Residential Life maintains ink jet collection bins.

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.