Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 88.80
Liaison Richard Demerjian
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2021

STARS v2.2

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.43 / 8.00 Anne Krieghoff
Solid Waste and Recycling Manager
Facilities 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 2,584.90 Tons 4,783 Tons
Materials composted 2,871.10 Tons 2,700 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 436.40 Tons 263 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,901.20 Tons 1,895 Tons
Total waste generated 7,793.60 Tons 9,641 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, 2019 June 30, 2020
Baseline Period Jan. 1, 2011 Dec. 31, 2011

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

2011 is the year when the data collection for solid waste is most complete. It is also when current recycling programs /processes were implemented.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 9,447 7,605
Number of employees resident on-site 4 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 35,535 25,970
Full-time equivalent of employees 8,813 7,362
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 4,594 1,129
Weighted campus users 32,178.25 26,053.50

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.24 Tons 0.37 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:

UCI has donation boxes for the Goodwill that are serviced all year round to collect student and staff clothing and small electronics. We have found this practice has greatly reduced the large amounts of material collected during move out but has increased the annual donation material collected.

Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year:
12 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:

UCI does annual waste audits at both the MSW and Commingled Recycling transfer stations to identify what items are getting into the wrong streams, we can target those items in our student and staff education. UCI creates signage with photos and educational videos as well as training materials to help make each sorting stream easy to understand. All of this educational material is available our websites and YouTube. The campus uses standardized signs throughout campus so they have color coded system but we also use different colored bin liners so our custodial team can deposited each stream in the correct bin. Blue clear for recycling, clear for food waste and gray clear for landfill. These bin liners help minimize sorting areas at the final stage to the exterior bins.

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

UCI has participated in the Campus Race 2 Zero Waste W2ZW Competition (formerly RecycleMania ) for the past 11 years to create a buzz about recycling on campus. We have been able to remain in the top 10 for diversion rate and we have won first place in Zero Race Facility and Food Waste Program, which serves as source of pride for our students and staff. Our staff and student education has shifted from focusing on recycling to waste minimization through reuse, resale, donation and reduce purchasing. We have seen steady results with this shift in focus with the lowest amount of waste to landfill in the past 10 years. When it comes to signage we have been using more infographics so that readers understand why reduce, reuse and recycling are important to our environment. Education is geared to create better understanding of why we promote sustainability "when we know better we do better."

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

Waste characterization studies as well as waste audits are performed at our campus & student housing buildings as part of our recycling program. These audits are done out in the open and often done as part of a sustainability event to help students and staff understand the importance of their recycling actions. This audit information is used to determine what items are still in the waste stream that could be diverted through recycling or composting, and the information is shared with the building staff to help educate them about how they can recycle more. The diversion rates are shared with our student housing residents each quarter so they can see how their housing unit stacks up to others; this creates a healthy competition among housing communities. Waste audits are also done as part of the LEED EBOM certification process. Waste characterizations are done at our transfer station to help us learn what items in our waste stream we need to highlight with our campus staff and students to either recycle or compost.

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

UC Irvine adheres to the University of California's Sustainable Practices Policy for Sustainable Procurement (page 14) https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/3100155/SustainablePractices

Per III.F.1. the University prioritizes waste reduction in the following order: Reduce, reuse, and then recycle. Accordingly, sustainable procurement will look to reduce unnecessary purchasing first, then prioritize the purchase of surplus or multiple-use products, before looking at recyclable or compostable products.

The UCI Procurement webpage about Sustainable Purchasing provides single-use plastics policy resources. These resources contain the Single-Use Plastics Policy Implementation Guide, a list of UCIBuy suggested items, and a Green Events Guide. View webpage here: https://procurement.uci.edu/strategic-initiatives/sustainable-purchasing.php

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

UC Irvine maintains Peter’s Exchange, which facilitates the salvage of quality goods for re-use by other areas of the campus and the community. The campus diverts goods from the landfill and extends their useful life by finding new users for these products. E- Waste recycle is also handled at Peter's Exchange offering both reuse of computers and electronics as well as bulk recycling of e-waste items. When goods cannot be re-used, the campus looks to sell, donate or recycle these surplus items.

For more information about Peter's Exchange: https://procurement.uci.edu/equipment-management/peters-exchange.php

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

UCI has two Facebook pages for peer-to-peer exchange and reuse:

-- Sell Furniture UCI

-- Free and For Sale UCI

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

The central campus pay-printing service limits printing by imposing a $0.10/page charge. This service is provided in UCI Libraries and centrally managed computing labs. Some schools and departments provide some printing to their students on specially located printers. All campus printers default printing preferences are set for double sided printing and our procurement sources 100% recycled printing paper.

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

As of the 2011-2012 academic year, UC Irvine no longer publishes a printed catalogue. UC Irvine’s Schedule of Classes has been exclusively online since 2004.

For more information:
-- UCI General Catalogue: http://catalogue.uci.edu/
-- UCI University Registrar Calendars: http://www.reg.uci.edu./navigation/calendars.html
-- UCI Directory: https://directory.uci.edu/

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

UCI has an annual student move-out donation and recycle program each June. The 2019 Move-Out Donation program was a two-week-long campaign to raise awareness that reuse is just as important as recycling. The housing and recycling team, in collaboration with Goodwill of Orange County and our on campus food bank, places collection carts inside all dorms and community centers for the six student housing communities (7,000 people), and these carts are emptied every other day. Additional recycle bins are placed outside the buildings and emptied daily to encourage recycling for things that cannot be donated. Each housing community posts an e-flyer on its website that describes the program and the locations for the collection carts and recycling bins. The Move Out donation event is advertised on campus electronic billboards and in the student newspaper, New University. The event is approached as a competition with the goal of exceeding the prior year’s donations. The Move Out Donation program has gained success every year. In 2010, the first program collected 67 tons, including furniture; the 2019 program resulted in 80 tons of clothing, household items, and electronics being donated to Goodwill of Orange County. Due to the popularity of the program, each housing community (7 total) has a Goodwill donation box that is accessible for donations throughout the year. This way we never miss an opportunity to donate for reuse.

Our move-in program starts before the students arrive on campus. Through the new student move-in program students are encouraged to reduce waste prior to coming on campus by reducing overpackaging prior to arrival. We also teach about campus recycle practices at this time. We have a sustainable student guide that is used as part of the new student training. It is sent via email to students as well as posted on the Resident Advisors' bulletin boards. https://housing.uci.edu/sustainability/docs/Sustainable%20Student%20Handguide.pdf

During move-in, additional cardboard collection bins are placed in dorm areas for the collection of these used move in boxes to be recycled.

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

During our campus recycling presentations to students and staff, reduce and re-use is highlighted as preferable to recycling. Some of the ways we put that into action is through the use of the 160 hydration water bottle filling stations available on campus and in student housing to fill reusable bottles. Since 2010 the refillable water bottle filling stations have been credited with the reduction of disposable bottle sales by 30%. In 2019, 3.3 million reusable water bottles were filled, which averages nine bottles per person each month. This is equal to 91 tons of single-use plastic waste avoided. Another way the campus encourages waste minimization is by requesting that documents be printed only when necessary. In addition, campus copy machines are set to the default of double sided printing to reduce paper use and waste.

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

In the first table, titled "Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted)," the large difference in tonnages for materials recycled is due to UCI shifting towards greater education on waste minimization through reuse, resale, donation and reduce purchasing. UCI has seen steady results with this shift in focus from recycling to waste minimization with the lowest amount of waste to landfill in the past 10 years.

Additional Information:

-- Active Recovery and Reuse:
UCI has a practice of retreading the large vehicle tires used in facilities as it saves money and recycles tires.

-- Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus:
UCI invested in Solar Powered Trash and Recycle Bin sets. Each set allows us to remove three sets of the standard concrete bins. The older concrete bins were refurbished with new lids and signs and used in parking lots and outdoor staff lounge areas, that previously did not have any place to recycle.

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.