Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.81
Liaison Michael Mendoza
Submission Date Jan. 4, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Houston
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.63 / 8.00 Melissa Halstead
Sustainability 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 690.87 Tons 598.36 Tons
Materials composted 0 Tons 310 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 11.45 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 3567.80 Tons 2738.19 Tons
Total waste generated 4270.12 Tons 3646.55 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility, including affirmation that materials are sorted prior to conversion to recover recyclables and compostable materials:
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Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Sept. 1, 2016 Aug. 31, 2017
Baseline Year Sept. 1, 2011 Aug. 31, 2012

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):

FY11 was chosen as the baseline year as this was the first year the University started keeping accurate separate records for recycling and general waste disposal.


Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 8007 5178
Number of employees resident on-site 15 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 43774 39554
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 5239 4845
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 2626 0
Weighted campus users 36795.75 34593.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.12 Tons 0.11 Tons

Percentage reduction in total waste generated per weighted campus user from baseline:
0

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator by recycling, composting, donating or re-selling, performance year:
16.45

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator (including up to 10 percent attributable to post-recycling residual conversion):
16.45

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 No
Other (please specify below) No

A brief description of other materials the institution has recycled, composted, donated and/or re-sold:
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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) :
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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?:
Yes

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?:
No

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?:
No

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:
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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:

University of Houston annual participates in Recyclemania since 2009. Throughout the year the Office of Sustainability hosts various outreach events to reduce waste and encourage recycling on campus. Additionally, at the beginning of each semester, a campus-wide campaign called #BYOBottle, encourages everyone on campus to bring their own bottle and utilize H2O filtered water stations on campus in order to reduce single-use plastic bottles.


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

A Waste Audit was led by the Office of Sustainability of the Student Center in 2017.


A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste (e.g. by minimizing packaging and purchasing in bulk):
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A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:
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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 of Houston property management utilizes the following procedures of goods: exchanges on campus, auctions of goods, donates to state agencies, recycling and as a last option landfilled. A copy of the policy can be found here: http://www.uh.edu/finance/Departments/Property%20Management/Guidelines/DISPOSAL%20OF%20PROPERTY.pdf


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):
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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:

Most everything is included on the UH website and materials are shared electronically whenever possible. Staff are encouraged to use electronic signatures to reduce paper usage. Course schedules, catalogs and directories are all exclusively online.


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

Several residence halls participate in a recycling or donation program during move out.


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

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Items recycled in the waste diversion and waste minimization sections differ because the baseline year data only accounts for single-stream recycling (as well as cardboard and scrap metal).

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.