Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 52.36
Liaison Matthew Williams
Submission Date Dec. 4, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Florida
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.38 / 8.00 Liz Storn
Program Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 5,000.10 Tons 2,781.10 Tons
Materials composted 810.42 Tons 3,451.60 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 282.44 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 9,083.18 Tons 11,571 Tons
Total waste generated 15,176.14 Tons 17,803.70 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, 2017 June 30, 2018
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 June 30, 2005

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):

FY 2004/2005 was chosen both because it was used for the previous submissions to AASHE STARS.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 8,900 8,202
Number of employees resident on-site 8 4
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 579 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 51,371 46,493
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 14,406 12,723.91
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 2,352 0
Weighted campus users 50,374.75 46,464.18

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.30 Tons 0.38 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:

Plastic film, hard plastics, rubber belts, textiles.

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 University of Florida works closely with our partner who operates the transfer station and recycling facility, Alachua County, to reduce contamination and provide information to students, faculty and staff regarding proper recycling and acceptable commodities. Alachua County does not currently have any concerns with the contamination rate of recycling coming from campus.

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 Office of Sustainability and Alachua County have worked together on media campaigns to shift behaviors on campus encouraging reduction of waste and proper recycling. Additionally, the Office of Sustainability works with Cupanion to encourage the usage of reusable water bottles, offering prizes and incentives for students who have the ap and scan when they reuse their bottles.

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

Waste audits of the University’s MSW were conducted in 2009 and 2014. A mini-audit of the MSW from the Reitz Union was performed in December 2014 to determine whether post-consumer composting from the food court would be feasible. Additionally, building specific audits have been conducted for two dining facilities on campus.

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

The UF Sustainable Purchasing Directive requires all UF personnel to purchase recycled and environmentally preferable products whenever practicable; purchase hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles; provide recycling containers within a reasonable distance of soda machines and in dining establishments; promote the use of recycled and other environmentally preferable products; and make efforts to secure contracts with vendors that are socially and environmentally conscientious, and certified green whenever practicable.

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

The UF Surplus Warehouse facilitates asset transfers to and from each department, and transfers between departments. Additionally, items not transferred between departments are offered to the public by auction. Finally, items not purchased through auctions are donated or responsibly disposed of. Assets can include computers, projectors, printers, automobiles, bikes and a varied array of scientific equipment.

There is a Property Swap listerv that is used to find a home for unneeded UF furniture. This listserv is open to all staff. Postings on the web site should include a description of the items and a picture if possible. Any furniture acquired through this web site must continue to serve the UF community and is not available for personal or private use.

There is a listserve and a "swap-meet" website for exchange of materials below the asset threshold and for interoffice exchange before pickup by Asset Management.

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):

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):

Each student has a limit of 250 pages of free prints per year at the student union computer lab. All other labs on campus charge a fee per page printed.

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:

Course catalogs and schedules are all available online where they are easily accessed rather than handing out new, updated catalogs each semester.

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

Since 1990, the University of Florida Department of Housing & Residence Education Recycling & Sustainability Committee has sponsored the Spring Check-Out Recycling Project.

Donations of non-perishable food, clothes, small appliances, new and used school supplies, and electronics are in residence hall lobby areas during the academic year check-out process. Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, The Outreach Center of Gainesville, Haven Hospice, and Bread of the Mighty Food Bank.

The goals of the project are three-fold: to assist local charitable agencies; to reduce the amount of usable items deposited in the local landfill during this period; and to assist residents moving from residence halls. Based on past experience, an average of approximately $10 - $50 worth of usable items will be donated by each of 7,400 campus residents. Of equal importance, approximately 4 to 5 tons of usable items collected will not be deposited in the Alachua County landfills.

During Move-In, the Department of Housing Building Services staff is tasked with collecting the thousands of empty used boxes from residence hall floors, grounds, dumpster areas, and trash chute areas for recycling. Extra paper bins and dumpsters are requested to support this expanded recycling program for move-in week.

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

Facilities Services works to identify new markets and opportunities to reuse and recycle materials on campus, including pipet tip boxes and plastic films. Textile recycling boxes, in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity, are also located on campus for donations of clothing items, and the Field and Fork food pantry accepts non-perishable food items that students may otherwise discard during move-out.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Performance year is FY 2017-2018.

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.