Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.70
Liaison Marianne Martin
Submission Date Sept. 22, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Colorado Boulder
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.03 / 5.00 Edward von Bleichert
Environmental Operations Manager/Campus IPM Coordinator
Facilities Managment
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,349.50 Tons 1,529.20 Tons
Materials composted 786.90 Tons 234.20 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 321.80 Tons 127.10 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 3,164 Tons 3,657 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 6,014 6,451
Number of residential employees 15 11
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 26,124 25,978
Full-time equivalent of employees 6,212 5,534
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 1,450 5,503

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2012 June 30, 2013
Baseline Year July 1, 2005 June 30, 2006

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

Established in 1976, CU Recycling has become one of the leading campus recycling programs in the country. Starting on the backs of students, CU Recycling has grown to become integral to the campus operations. From residence halls, administrative buildings and lecture halls to zero waste events on campus, recycling and composting bins can be seen all over campus. CU’s efforts in recycling have gained attention from the National Recycling Coalition, who recognized us with its first "Outstanding School Program" award in 1995.

A brief description of any (non-food) waste audits employed by the institution:


A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:


A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

All surplus property from the institution is required to be processed by Property Services at the end of its useful lifespan, including electronics, lab equipment, furniture, vehicles, etc. Re-usable items are sold back to campus customers and/or sold at public auctions (held quarterly). Items that are damaged and/or have no re-use value are deconstructed as needed so that components like scrap metal can be recycled rather than go to the landfill. 100% of surplus electronics are recycled, re-used on campus, or re-used by external purchasers.

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

CU is converting printed materials to on-line equivalents. –in at least the following projects: Course catalogs, Police Department reports, campus phone directories,and Personnel Description /annual performance review documentation. In several of these projects to convert materials to an online format, there are still limited hard-copies that need to remain available.

A brief description of any limits on paper and ink consumption employed by the institution:

The Campus Printing Initiative (CPI) is a campus-wide initiative implemented in response to Description of Photoincreasing waste/environmental concerns and escalating costs that will require all people printing in campus labs and CPI departments to pay a per-page fee.

A brief description of any programs employed by the institution to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:

As students move out of the Residence Halls on the CU Boulder campus, they leave behind many usable items they do not wish to carry with them to their next homes. To prevent these "Reusable Items" from entering the landfill and to put them back to use, CU Recycling holds a "Reusable Items Drive" in all 23+ Residence Halls during student Move Out. A donation station is set up in the lobby of each residence hall that includes bins for Reusable Items, Non Perishable Foods, and Personal Care Products. In 2010, we worked with Salvation Army to collect the materials from the Halls and distribute them through their thrift stores. The Personal Care Products and Non Perishable Foods are collected by CU Recycling and taken to the Boulder County Homeless Shelter. Cinder blocks and futon frames are captured to be either reused or recycled with scrap metal or scrap wood. Spare Change collection jugs are placed at the Residence Hall offices, with the proceeds going to various beneficiaries each year (Globe Med was the 2010 beneficiary). CU Recycling also provides staff to consolidate the stations each day in order to make it easy for Salvation Army to collect all the Reusable Items. The "Reusable Items Donation Stations" are set up for 2 weeks and are taken down on the last day of finals.

A brief description of any other (non-food) waste minimization strategies employed by the institution:


A brief description of any food waste audits employed by the institution:


A brief description of any programs and/or practices to track and reduce pre-consumer food waste in the form of kitchen food waste, prep waste and spoilage:


A brief description of programs and/or practices to track and reduce post-consumer food waste:

Although we have not taken trays away, we strongly encourage customers to go trayless. In addition, we have a Scrape your Plate/Clean Plate Awareness Day at the beginning of Fall and Spring semesters to show customers how much food is wasted/person and encourage them to take what they want, but eat what they take.

A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable and/or third party certified compostable to-go containers for to-go food and beverage items (in conjunction with a composting program):

Customers may purchase a reusable to-go container for $5 to be used at the Alferd Packer Grill and Baby Doe's at the University Memorial Center. This "Al's Exchangable's" program requires that a customer presents the used container to one of our friendly cashiers. The cashier then gives the customer a clean and sanitized container. We have recently added a 12 oz soup container to our choice of containers. This item can be purchased for $3.

A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable service ware for “dine in” meals and reusable and/or third party certified compostable service ware for to-go meals (in conjunction with a composting program):


A brief description of any discounts offered to customers who use reusable containers (e.g. mugs) instead of disposable or compostable containers in to-go food service operations:

The Reusable Mug program offers customers the opportunity to save the waste of disposable cups in favor of utilizing a reusable mug. We offer customers a 20 cent discount when using a reusable mug to hold one of our fine hot or cold beverages.
We also offer a frequent customer card to customers using a reusable mug to purchase Baby Doe's Organic Coffee. After the customer receives 10 punches on their card they are given a free cup of coffee.

A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:


The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

baseline year = 2005-06

performance year = 2012-2013

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.