Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.70
Liaison Kevin Kirsche
Submission Date June 22, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Georgia
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.13 / 8.00 Jason Perry
Sustainability Specialist
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 1,006 Tons 1,287 Tons
Materials composted 861 Tons 696 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 4,781 Tons 4,914 Tons
Total waste generated 6,648 Tons 6,897 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, 2019 June 30, 2020
Baseline Period July 1, 2011 June 30, 2012

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 9,678 8,502
Number of employees resident on-site 14 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 329 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 35,165 33,157
Full-time equivalent of employees 10,384 9,878
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 44 93
Weighted campus users 36,880.75 34,332

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.18 Tons 0.20 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:

Vehicle batteries
Fuel filters
Motor oil
Repository shredding
Admin services shred
Film plastic
Block polystyrene

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:

Labels are placed on all bins and "Is that recyclable? Yup / Nope" signage is circulated on campus and posted near (some) bins. Clear bags are used for recycling and collection staff are instructed to throw away any recycling with more than 10% visible contamination. Pizza boxes are recycled in The Niche Pizza Company at UGA Tate Center and staff discard boxes that contain food or are too greasy.

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

UGA participates in Recyclemania each spring. Every fall, UGA hosts the Green Cup Challenge among campus residence halls. Waste-related educational signage is displayed in almost every campus building. Public waste audits of campus buildings are hosted in highly visible areas and results posted. The Departmental Waste Reduction program works with building occupants and building service workers to educate and update waste infrastructure (recycling, compost, and landfill bins) with department-specific educational signage to encourage recycling.

To engage the University community through the arts, student interns in the Office of Sustainability created "Athens Home for Discarded Objects". Interns coordinated campus and community river clean-ups and then turned found objects into art displays at ate Student Center and Science Library.

During Earth Week, two student interns planned a large photo campaign that aimed to highlight different waste produced on campus from game day waste to research lab waste. The photos would be an aerial shot of different stakeholders lying in the piles of waste which were paired with a zine to tell the story of the waste and highlight solutions. It was inspired by Gregg Segals 7-Days of Garbage project. These were to be hung on large posters around the student center during earth week. The project was canceled 5 days before the shoot due to COVID-19.

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 campus buildings are conducted in highly visible public areas. Students and staff sort through landfill and recycling bins from targeted to determine recycling rate, contamination rate, and compostable contents. The most recent waste audit was hosted on Friday 2/28/20 to gain data for the departmental waste reduction program.

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

UGA Central Receiving, Central Research Stores, and Dining Services Central Food Storage purchase products in bulk to reduce cost, packaging waste, and transportation impacts on campus. UGA's green cleaning program incorporates bulk purchase of non-toxic cleaning supplies to reduce cost and waste.

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

Items are available at the UGA Surplus Property warehouse for University departments, State of Georgia educational institutions, State of Georgia agencies, approved political subdivisions (county or municipality or any county or independent board of education in the State of Georgia) and approved non-profit organizations. These items are free to any approved employee that wants them, but they must remain on state property.

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

The UGA Surplus Listserv allows campus departments to "swap" items before they are delivered to Surplus Properties.

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

There is no free printing available on campus. All printing is priced per service and paid for with a student "bulldog bucks" account...funds are stored on the student ID card.

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

All information about courses including catalogs and schedules, plus directories, several university publications, and information about academic and extracurrciular programs are all online. As with any online resource, these items may be printed out at their discretion. Additionally, the UGA Student Directory is only available online, and is not distributed to students in a print form.

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

At "Hunker Down with Housing" Move-In, cardboard, Styrofoam, and film plastic corrals are set up at each residence hall or community. Volunteers support students and their families as they move in and manage recycling and waste streams. These hard to recycle materials (styrofoam and film plastic) are diverted from the landfill and brought to CHaRM.

"Dawgs Ditch the Dumpster" is an effort to reduce UGA’s environmental impact while simultaneously supporting the Athens community. At the end of each spring semester, thousands of students move out of their residence halls and head back home for the summer. Through the course of this process, hundreds of tons of otherwise useful items are diverted from the landfill and are donated to those who need them instead of throwing them away. We partner mainly with the local non-profit Project Safe Thrift store and Habitat for Humanity.

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

The Material Reuse Intern in the Office of Sustainability specifically seeks out reuse opportunities for operational and surplus materials at Facilities Management Division and throughout campus.

The Zero Waste Intern at the Office of Sustainability works to find materials on campus that are intended for disposal and recovers materials for the Material Reuse Intern and Artist In Residence to use.

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

In April 2015, UGA began composting all organic materials from each dining hall on campus. At that time, it was estimated that 10,000 pounds of organic materials were generated weekly. Since then, we estimate that 25% of waste has been reduced through operational practices. Current figures include 7500 lbs/wk x 44 weeks = 330,000 lbs/yr or 165 tons of food scraps composted annually.

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.