Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.27
Liaison Kimberly Reeves
Submission Date Feb. 15, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Colorado Colorado Springs
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.03 / 8.00 Jeff Reed
Executive Director
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 159.28 Tons 102.77 Tons
Materials composted 171.90 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 2.67 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 290.32 Tons 363.63 Tons
Total waste generated 624.17 Tons 466.40 Tons

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


Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2016 June 30, 2017
Baseline Year July 1, 2008 June 30, 2009

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):

Fiscal year 2009 has the most accurate and comprehensive data to utilize as a baseline.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 1,627 785
Number of employees resident on-site 4 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 10,475 7,594
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 1,230 889
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 462 0
Weighted campus users 8,840 6,558.50

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.07 Tons 0.07 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 No
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:

Cardboard is separated and baled.
Plastic bags are recycled separately from the single stream.
Microfilm was upcycled through a local organization to turn into jewelry.
Toner/ink cartridges are collected and recycled through our Environmental Health and Safety Office in conjunction with our Staff Association.

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:

The Office of Sustainability implemented a small "Successful Sorting" campaign in one of our academic buildings after performing a waste audit to determine the top three contaminated items. After, signs were made and posted on the bins as an extra reminder to keep coffee cups, napkins and liquids out of the recycling stream. Audits were completed after the campaign and saw slight improvements.

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 Sustainability Office partners with Dining and Hospitality Services and nutrition classes to conduct food waste audits and Caught Green Handed in the two residential dining halls. Our students are already producing below average food waste. The Caught Green Handed campaign positively reinforces the behavior. Each semester, we have a group of students who market and increase awareness for the Green2Go reusable to-go container program. Take Back the Tap was a four-year campaign that supported the elimination of plastic bottled water sales on campus. Each in-coming student was provided a reusable, metal water bottle along with a taste test of bottled water and tap water, education on issues around water rights, and the life cycle of a bottle of water. Espresso Yourself is a campaign that will be implemented in Spring 2018 with the goal of reducing the number of single-use coffee cups. These are our number one contaminant in the single-stream along with liquid. We hope to use a positive message to 'express yourself' by bringing your own mug and putting stickers on it.

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

The Office of Sustainability does 1-2 waste audits per year to assess the waste composition. This is done through Mt. Trashmore events and smaller building audits to focus our educational campaigns. In our analysis of trash, we have consistently found that between 40-50 percent of the trash could have been recycled. We use these events to educate the campus community and determine which items people have difficulty recycling.

+ mini building waste audits under Successful Sorting

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

There is not an official policy but a requested practice with regard to certain large purchases.
The University purchased desktops for a computer refresh in summer 2017 with reduced plastic film and only cardboard. The plastic film was collected and recycled through a local facility, and the cardboard was collected and baled on campus.

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

The university has a Materials, Acquisition and Distribution department in Facilities Services that assists in large item pick-ups. This department partners with the Office of Sustainability in regards to e-waste, donations, and to research new partners.

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):

The university uses a listserve for both faculty and staff to redistribute office supplies that can be reused. Items are diverse, from folders, printer cartridges, furniture, computers, monitors, etc. The listserve is used frequently and items turn over very quickly. Being in lean budget situations ensures that all materials are re-used and do not end up in the landfill.

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):

In 2008 UCCS instituted the Pawprints program which charges for prints in all computer labs and the library on campus. Between the pay for printing and the double-sided printing default settings, paper consumption in the labs has been reduced by over 50 percent.

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:

Many items are available on line now throughout the university and many electronic forms are added each year. These include catalogs, research in the library, financial aid, budgeting forms and reports, timesheets, pay advices, etc.

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

Each year 2 Goodwill or ARC trailers are provided on campus during the week of move-out to provide students with a way of donating reusable goods, including electronics. There is also an opportunity, through a local electronics recycler, for students to get rid of unused electronics. For the past three years, this program has been renamed to 'Ditch the Dumpster and Donate' and has included donation partners with Clyde's Cupboard (on-campus food pantry for students,) Who Gives a Scrap (local organization that helps keep craft items out of the landfill,) and All Breeds Dog Rescue and Training (for all bedding and towels.) Extra donation bins are provided in the residential halls during the week to encourage waste diversion.

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

Students who use the 3D printers in the Engineering Shop now have the opportunity to learn how to use the 3D filament recycler. This allows students the ability to make mistakes and still utilize the same material as well as reducing the costs of filament for the shop. Students have identified this skill as important to have on their resume for future employment.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.