Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 83.80
Liaison Mark Maxwell
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, Merced
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 6.09 / 8.00 Zuhair Mased
Director of Energy
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 171 Tons 156 Tons
Materials composted 123.30 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 383.50 Tons 178 Tons
Total waste generated 677.80 Tons 334 Tons

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

UC Merced has a waste sorting line that is comprised of a team of sixteen students who collect recycle, compost, and landfill waste from all campus buildings excluding dining and housing facilities. Waste from each building is transported and separated into 15 categories. After separation, the recyclable materials are sold. Compostable materials are sent to a local compost facility. Non recyclable or compostable material is sent to the landfill.

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2017 June 30, 2018
Baseline Year July 1, 2006 June 30, 2007

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):

Baseline data is provided for FY 2006-2007 since the campus did not open until fall 2005. The performance year is FY 2017-2018. This data does not include campus construction and demolition.

Website URL: https://recycle.ucmerced.edu/reduce

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,293 400
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 8,038 1,285
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 1,442 553
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 7,683.25 1,478.50

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.09 Tons 0.23 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
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:

Styrofoam is the only other material that institution includes in its waste diversion efforts. Plastic film, toner, clothes, and wood.

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) :

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:

UC Merced employees a team of sixteen students that sort through every single bag of trash, recycling and compost. Any recyclable, compostable, and landfill material is sorted and separated into different bins before being sent to their appropriate facilities. Since all waste is sorted on site, there is no contamination once compost, recyclables, and landfill materials leave the campus. This operation does not include Housing and Dining.

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:

The campus EcoRep Program has provided informational sessions and presentations on waste diversion. These have been interactive sessions that have engaged students to learn about how to dispose waste. The campus also provides Zero Waste Event training to campus constituency.

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

Yearly waste audits are conducted to assess materials management efforts.

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

To reduce packaging and the environmental impact of multiple deliveries, there is a $75 minimum purchase for orders with our strategic office supplies partner. In addition, Procurement Services incorporated sustainability specifications and evaluation criteria into local contracting processes.

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

Once a month there is a office supplies exchange event where unused office supplies are dropped off and departments can pick up any items they need.

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):

Periodically (depending on the volume of items entering surplus; once a month or more often), the surplus operation e-mails a flyer with a list of items that are available for departmental purchase. Many of the items are offered at no cost. The surplus operation also encourages interested parties to visit the surplus operation to “shop.” In addition, the campus community is encouraged to divert their unneeded items to the surplus operation so the items can be disposed of in a sustainable manner.

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):

At UC Merced there is no such thing as free printing. All students are charged $0.04 to print in black and white and $0.08 to print in color on campus. This is true for all printing locations on campus.

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:

The institution does not print course schedules or directories for any of its students, staff, or faculty. Those items can be found on the UC Merced website.

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

The campus holds an event called the Bobcat Recycling Fair each year. The Bobcat Recycling Fair is a collection event to gather items that residents no longer need. Last year's collection included clothing, e-waste, batteries, cell phones, school supplies and appliances. In addition, we had a redemption center on campus. Residents were allowed to bring their bottles and cans that they had saved throughout the semester and get CRV value for them.

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

Re-purposement of tables, chairs and other furniture. Recycling employees use re-purposed bicycles. The surplus operation has furnished it’s operation exclusively on furniture, electronics, and shelving re-purposed from unwanted items.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.