Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.54
Liaison Kelli O'Day
Submission Date June 20, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of California, Davis
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.25 / 8.00 Kelli O'Day
Assessment 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 1,026.11 Tons 1,699 Tons
Materials composted 10,497.34 Tons 8,222 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 785.89 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 6,269.67 Tons 9,425 Tons
Total waste generated 18,579.01 Tons 19,346 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 July 1, 2021 June 1, 2022
Baseline Period Jan. 1, 2005 Dec. 31, 2005

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

We have elected to use a baseline from fiscal year 2005-06 in order to better demonstrate as much as possible of the long story of waste reduction, reuse, and diversion efforts on campus.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 14,471 5,114
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 344 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 33,387 26,255
Full-time equivalent of employees 9,532 9,182
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 494 0
Weighted campus users 35,780.50 27,856.25

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.52 Tons 0.69 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
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:

UC Davis washes and reuses gravel for animal bedding on campus (543 tons in Fiscal Year 2021-2022. The campus also recycled 9.94 tons of used gloves and 33.33 tons of hardbound books in the last fiscal year.

Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year:
742.87 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:

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

Behavior change campaigns using the UC wide Cool Campus Challenge sustainability pledge online platform are administered multiple times a year to various audiences on the UC Davis campus. These friendly competitions use prize incentives and point-based systems to encourage behavior changes that advance UC Davis towards zero waste goals. Student Housing and Dining services annually hosts a Cool Campus Challenge for all residents and the ASUCD Environmental Policy Commission (EPPC) also hosted a competition between UC Davis and UC Berkeley undergraduates.
A reusable utensil distribution campaign has brought conversation, awareness, and habit change to the UC Davis community by distributing over 6,000 convenient stainless steel utensil sets to reduce the use of single-use plastic items. See EN-5 for more detail on both behavior change initiatives.

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

General waste audit assessments are conducted for different facilities as part of an evaluation process. The assessment process includes evaluating the occupants’ waste disposal behavior and noting contamination or issues with the waste diversion program in place at those facilities, as well as collecting data on waste diversion and landfill contamination.

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

The University of California Sustainable Practices Policy includes a section on Sustainable Purchasing, which requires that specific items meet minimum sustainable certification standards (e.g. Cradle 2 Cradle certification for indoor furniture). The Policy also addresses total cost of ownership in evaluating costs of goods and services, contracting with suppliers that have established end-of-life reuse, recycle or takeback programs, and requiring product packaging be designed/produced, and distributed in a sustainable manner.

UC-wide Single-Use Plastics Policy outlines a timeline for UC campuses to phase out all unnecessary plastics.

Student Housing & Dining Services is working with its food vendors to use more reusable packaging. The Student Farm delivers produce in reusable totes and an egg vendor uses reusable egg crates. They are currently working with others food vendors to do the same.

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

Aggie Surplus facilitates the reuse and resale of campus surplus equipment and supplies for campus faculty and staff members. The surplus equipment and supplies are taken to Aggie Surplus to be resold to other campus affiliates and the general public, or if not marketable, to be properly disposed or recycled.

The Aggie Reuse Store is a student run store that facilitates and encourages the reuse of materials disposed of by students on campus.

A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse:

Sustainability Peer Educators in Student Housing and Dining Services facilitate a clothing swap for Student Housing residents at least once a year. Items not swapped between residents are donated to local thrift stores or the Aggie Reuse Store.

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

Computer classrooms, open access labs, and media facilities are supported by Information and Educational Technology Computer Lab Management. At these facilities, UC Davis users (faculty, staff, and students) will accrue charges per sheet for every sheet they print regardless if the printing is single-sided or double-sided. Sheets printed via Wireless Printing are counted on the same quota as normal printing within the IET computer rooms. If an individual prints only a few sheets per quarter, the charges will be waived as it is not efficient for the department to issue invoices for such small print quantities. Color prints cost $1.00 per page. As student fees do not support student computing nor do they support printing, printing is entirely funded by the fees. The printing fees also fund a portion of the open-access computer labs since they are primarily used for printing. For students living in the residence halls, Student Housing provides 250 pages “free” printing each quarter through the Computer Centers in the residence hall areas. While “free”, in actuality this is paid for through regular Housing fees paid each quarter. The department set that level of printing as a responsible level that meets the needs of the vast majority of residents with consideration for sustainability and conservation of resources.

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

UC Davis eliminated a printed paper phone directory with the last printing in 2008-09. The directory is now available solely online.

Since Fall 2012 the Registration Guide has also only been available online. The course catalog and schedule, together with a robust search tool, are available online.

The “AggieBuy” online purchasing system allows for product search and order placement.

Human Resources posts job offerings online and requests applicants apply through the online job application tool.

Pay statements are now provided in electronic format on the central UC benefits website, and not provided in paper format, unless the Online Earnings Statement Exception Form is filled out by the requesting employee.

The campus map is available online, and departments requesting printed maps must pay for them.

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

An annual student housing move-in/out event is planned and hosted by UC Davis Student Housing and Dining Services to reduce landfill waste and encourage the recycling during move-in/out in September and June respectively. Prior to move-in, incoming residents are encouraged to pack their belongings in reusable containers instead of cardboard boxes and to coordinate with roommate(s) to avoid duplicate electronics/appliances. The move-in/out event includes stations set up specifically to collect materials for recycling and donations (during move-out). Special collection of expanded polystyrene foam is set-up during move-in which is otherwise landfilled during the academic year. Donation collection during move-out takes place in the residence halls during the week before the halls close for the year, so students - as they prepare to move out - may identify clothing, electronics, non-perishable foods, and other items that they no longer need or want and turn them in so they will continue to be used by others.

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

Student Housing also maintains a reusable collection bins in the Residence Halls to collect gently used items for donation to the Aggie Reuse Store, an on-campus student thrift store.

As previously mentioned, used gravel is diverted from landfill and reused after being cleaned on campus, and the Food Recovery Network diverts surplus food for consumption.

Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Morgan Hickey, a Zero Waste Coordinator with the Office of Sustainability, assisted in compiling this credit response.

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.