Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.05
Liaison Konrad Schlarbaum
Submission Date Feb. 15, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Colorado Colorado Springs
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.26 / 8.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 172.33 Tons 102.77 Tons
Materials composted 123.21 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 1.60 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 281.85 Tons 363.63 Tons
Total waste generated 578.99 Tons 466.40 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, 2018 June 30, 2019
Baseline Period July 1, 2008 June 30, 2009

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

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 1,541 785
Number of employees resident on-site 4 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 1 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 10,864 7,594
Full-time equivalent of employees 1,627 889
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1,433 0
Weighted campus users 8,680.75 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
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:

For FY19, cardboard was separated, baled and sold to an external business.

Plastic bags are recycled separately through a local organization, Community Intersections, a disabilities services and support organization. Their Work Skill Program provides collection services and then sells the material to Trex Composite Decking.

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:

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:

Student staff in the Office of Sustainability created a standard training video for Custodial staff. This video was created right before COVID-19 impacts, so we need to revise and re-energize around standardization.

In Spring 2018, 50 faculty, staff and students participated in a MRF (Materials Recovery Facility) tour. Participants included Custodial staff, Kraemer Family Library dean, faculty and staff, and student employees from the Office of Sustainability. Shuttle buses were organized to have 25 people per tour transported to the local MRF, participate in the tour led by the MRF manager, and returned to campus. On the way back to campus, all participants took a quick survey that included three questions: what was one fun fact you learned, name a personal change you’ll make in your recycling/reuse life after visiting the MRF, and what skills, knowledge or encouragement are you going to bring back to your department.

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

The Office of Sustainability conducted an educational campaign based on building waste audits that showed majority of our contamination issues came from coffee cups. We focused on ‘reduction’ through a campaign called ‘Espresso Yourself’, which encouraged our campus to bring their own mug. Through this campaign, we hosted tabling events where we gave away free coffee, hot chocolate and tea to students, faculty and staff that brought their own mug. We also partnered with local organizations to give away stickers to add to their beverage container, which allowed us to talk about their organizations and how they support sustainability in our community and on campus. We also created coloring sheets and buttons to color and continue to ‘Espresso Yourself’. During the first semester of the campaign, we saw a 34% increase in the number of campus community members who knew about the reusable mug discount available at all five UCCS coffee shops. We engaged 1.7% of the campus community including students, faculty and staff. This data was collected at the time of the tabling; student staff asked the participants if they knew about the discount and kept tallies for each tabling session. We also worked with Dining & Hospitality Services to understand how many discounts they gave each month.

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 conducts 1-2 waste audits per year to assess the waste composition. Examples include Mt. Trashmore – an audit of a day’s worth of trash at UCCS, and the Kraemer Family Library waste audits – one conducted before composting infrastructure was implemented and one conducted after.

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

There is not an official policy but a requested practice with regard to certain large purchases.
The CU System Procurement Services Center continues to work with contacted companies to reduce their packaging.

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:

The university uses an email listserv 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 listserv is used frequently, and items turn over very quickly. Being in lean budget situations ensures that all materials are re-used.

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

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 available online by default rather than printing them:

Many items are available online 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, the University partners with a local donation organization 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 included donation partners with One Nation Walking Together (local organization that donates items to Reservations), 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:

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

Data source(s) and notes about 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.