Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.77
Liaison Andrew Porter
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Cincinnati
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.06 / 8.00 Daniel Hart
Sustainability Coordinator
Planning + Design + Construction
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 512 Tons 0 Tons
Materials composted 12.23 Tons 190 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 298 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 5,266 Tons 3,187 Tons
Total waste generated 6,088.23 Tons 3,377 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, 2015 June 30, 2016
Baseline Period July 1, 2008 June 30, 2009

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

For consistency's sake we have adopted a 2009 baseline across the board for all STARS operational credits, as that is the earliest year for which we have strong consistent data sets across categories.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 6,285 5,200
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 33,419 26,055
Full-time equivalent of employees 7,108 7,403
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 2,582 0
Weighted campus users 30,030 26,393.50

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.20 Tons 0.13 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:


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:

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

The Office of Sustainability is trying to simplify and amplify the recycling process for our students, faculty, and staff. We are doing this by installing uniform, connected landfill and recycling bins throughout campus. Uniform, clearly labeled bins will eliminate confusion as to which bins are recycling and which are trash, and therefore will increase the amount of recycling UC captures. The connected bins help by always providing a recycling bin next to a landfill bin, encouraging people who do not wish to look for a further away recycling bin to conveniently recycle their waste. The Office of Sustainability is going through building by building replacing the assortment of old bins with the new uniform, connected bins. These bins have been implemented in the following buildings: College of Law Building, Langsam Library, Tangeman University Center, Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning, Rieveschl, Zimmer, Care/Crawley, Marian Spencer Hall, Calhoun Hall, Siddall Hall, Marian Spencer Hall.

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

The University of Cincinnati Office of Sustainability will conduct recycling audits with student volunteers and Rumpke in January 2016, additionally the Office of Sustainability plans to host a waste audit in the spring of 2021, with the intention of involving students to help sort material in an effort to better understand the UC's waste stream.

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

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

The Surplus Equipment Department serves the university community in all matters relating to the handling of surplus items. University organizational units are encouraged to reclaim assets from within the university wherever possible. In addition to offering items to university organizational units at no cost, the Surplus Equipment Department provides outlets for the sale of surplus items to the general public via the Monthly Public Sale.

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

Starbucks and other campus Cafe locations offer a discount for coffee if the customer brings in a reusable mug.

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

Students who are currently enrolled are given a print quota of at least 100 black-and-white pages per semester. Some colleges (e.g., medical) give an additional subsidy to their students. Black and white copies are 7¢ each and color copies are 50¢ each. Once a user runs out of money, they will need to add money to their student account in order to print additional pages.

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

All materials including course catalogs, course schedules, and directories in addition to many more resources are available online.

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

Move-In / Move-Out

On campus at the beginning of each school year, the Office of Sustainability works with Grounds/Moving/Transportation, Housekeeping, R.E.D., and Housing to reduce material from ending up in the landfill through encouraging recycling. These efforts involve strategically placing additional recycling dumpsters throughout campus, working with volunteers, residence hall staff, and incoming students and families on the importance of recycling and how to recycle properly on campus.

Move Out

On campus at the end of each school year, the Office of Sustainability works with a variety of partners in the pursuit of diverting material from ending up in the landfill while also getting it to those in need. In the residence halls, donation bins from local charity organizations are deployed along with donation bins from the Bearcat Food Pantry. On the perimeter of campus, the Office hosts the annual Re*Use Market which functions as a donation hub and free store.

Re*Use Market

The Re*Use Market was founded in Spring 2008 by students who saw the need to reduce waste being sent to the landfill which could easily be reused by others in the community. The Re*Use Market continues to grow each year, attracting more donations and more individuals seeking treasures at the free market.
Furniture, household goods, non-perishable food items, electronics, books, clothing, sporting goods, toys, etc. are all accepted. The donations are placed in the Re*Use Market, and anyone from UC or the Greater Cincinnati community can come to take items they would like. At the end of the week, remaining items are given to local charities.

April 29 - May 3, Time TBA
270 Calhoun St. (grass space East of the Old YMCA building)

Uptown Waste Diversion

Off campus throughout the summer, students living in the neighborhoods surrounding the University tend to move out of their residences towards the end of July and at the beginning of August. In order to reduce litter, prevent blight, and divert waste from the landfill, starting in 2018, the Office of Sustainability began collaborating with the City of Cincinnati, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, and a variety of other local organizations to host the inaugural Uptown Waste Diversion event, where for two weeks, a central donation hub and recycling center is located in the Uptown area.

The 2020 Uptown Waste Diversion event is taking place at "block 1" across from Crossroads Uptown Church at 42 Calhoun St. from July 25th - August 2nd from 10am - 6pm.

UC's Uptown Waste Diversion program has been featured at the International Re*Use Connex Conference and via in AASHE Webinar.

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

Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts 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.