Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.39
Liaison Maria Kirrane
Submission Date July 20, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University College Cork - National University of Ireland, Cork
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.73 / 8.00 Gavin Douglas
Waste management
Waste Management Solutions
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 327.49 Tonnes 417.30 Tonnes
Materials composted 88.90 Tonnes 70.76 Tonnes
Materials donated or re-sold 3.63 Tonnes 1.81 Tonnes
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 36.29 Tonnes 31.75 Tonnes
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 339.29 Tonnes 537.96 Tonnes
Total waste generated 795.60 Tonnes 1,059.59 Tonnes

A brief description of the residual conversion facility, including affirmation that materials are sorted prior to conversion to recover recyclables and compostable materials:

All waste removed from site is sorted at the facility and undergoes treatment through a MBT (Mechanical Biological Treatment) which removes all organic, metals, and other recyclable material where possible before it is baled and shipped for residual conversion.

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Jan. 1, 2017 Dec. 31, 2017
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2012 Dec. 31, 2012

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):

2012 was the year we changed our waste provider. We implemented a new waste plan and collection points, which enabled us to be able to categorise waste types collected from each of those areas. This in turn allowed to see what areas were performing better than others and therefore ensured we were able to address any shortcomings in terms of recycling in those specific areas.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 0 0
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 18,464 17,070
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 2,696.72 2,468
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 48 74
Weighted campus users 15,834.54 14,598

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.05 Tonnes 0.07 Tonnes

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

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

Polystyrene collection is available at UCC and this is recycled in Cork.
Battery collection points are located in various points on campus.
A full map of all recycling points in UCC is available on our Green Campus website, as is an A-Z of what can and cannot be recycled.

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) :
0.91 Tonnes

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:

Quarterly waste audits are conducted onsite to review the existing bring centres and their contamination. We also use our in house facilities team to review and audit quality of recycling bins and the segregation of waste streams in certain buildings on Campus. Improved signage is being implemented across campus and efforts to eliminate the use of disposable coffee cups has significantly reduced contamination rates in the library (and is expected to have the same impact campus wide).

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:

We recently carried out a Recycling and awareness campaign in one of the campus main buildings. This included the introduction of New Bins / Signage and a training & awareness team, including fun competitions to try and encourage staff and students to partake. This has resulted on a complete turn around in the levels of recyclables being removed from the building.

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

Full audits of every waste compound on campus have been in place for the last number of years. this includes documenting the level of contamination in the Waste Bins and the potential for further segregation of Mixed recyclable materials. Training and awareness in waste management & best practice are in place, all with a view to continuous improvement. Full audit reports are submitted to management, who in turn try to implement what they can based on the findings.

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

No specific policy in place but actively purchasing products that are reusable as opposed to disposable for example reusable coffee cups for every incoming first year student. Catering contractors ensure suppliers take back packaging where possible at time of delivery.

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

There is currently no formal exchange programme, many staff members post surplus items through the university's all exchange users email capability.

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):

Pursuing a platform that will enable in-house exchange of used furniture as opposed to disposal.

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):

Double sided printing by default, students have to pay for printing to avoid wastage.

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:

Blackboard is used by all academic staff to post materials online as opposed to printing them.

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

N/A campus accommodation is under a separate entity to the Main College and Campus

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

The College has always been conscious of diverting as many waste/recycling streams as possible from landfill. This has included the introduction of numerous WEEE recycling changes, strategically position around campus to encourage recover of electrical items. There is also similar outlets for Batteries, Bulbs, Polystyrene, Glass, Aluminium Cans, Clothes Banks and Segregated Cardboard and Paper.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data is collected on behalf of UCC, by the University's waste contractor, Waste Management Solutions.

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.