Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.22
Liaison Olivia Wiebe
Submission Date Jan. 28, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Idaho
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.95 / 8.00 Rusty Vineyard
Facilities Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 0 Tons 243.18 Tons
Materials composted 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 0 Tons 140 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 519.86 Tons 1,100 Tons
Total waste generated 519.86 Tons 1,483.18 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, 2020 June 30, 2021
Baseline Period Jan. 1, 2005 Dec. 31, 2005

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 3,161 2,000
Number of employees resident on-site 16 8
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 8,811.86 10,415
Full-time equivalent of employees 2,301.71 2,254
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 453 0
Weighted campus users 8,789.68 10,003.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.06 Tons 0.15 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 No
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:

Other materials the institution has recycled and/or re-sold include, but are not limited to: vehicles, farm equipment, shop equipment, electronics, batteries, fluorescent tubes, mercury tubes, sodium vapor bulbs, and compact tubes.

To the recycled, composted, donated and/or re-sold materials reported by Facilities, above, 1 ton was added from the Move Out program, and 6 tons of food waste were added from the Food & Farm Composting program.

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:

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

In 2021, the Sustainability Center's theme of the year was responsible waste management. This included several events, marketing campaigns, presentations, and outreach materials that focused on increasing the environmental literacy of campus in regard to recycling.

A team of 3 students at the Sustainability Center created an educational video explaining how to recycle in Moscow. The video was part of a marketing campaign that widely distributed the information.


The Sustainability Center Coordinator supported this effort by presenting at many class visits and staff council meetings. The presentations focused on the pitfalls of contamination and the importance of recycling in our community.

The Sustainability Center employs a student with the title of Recycling and Events Coordinator who plans and implements 3-5 events a semester that focus on reuse, reducing waste, and proper recycling techniques. Examples of these events include:

1.) Recycle Fair: Sustainability Center partnered with the ASUI Director for Sustainability hosted a recycling fair in the Idaho Student Union Building. Students were able to engage with student educators who spoke about recycling and had literature about how to recycle properly. There were activity booths that featured crafts from reused items, as well as sustainability enhancing promotional items that replace single-use straws and packaging.

2.) Hand-Me-Down Halloween: The Sustainability Center hosted a costume contest that required every part of the costume to be thrifted. This effort was supported by the ASUI Director of Sustainability, who organized a "Vandal Day of Thrift", where students could receive discounts from the local thrift shops. The Halloween event featured the costume contest, as well as a craft that turned old glass jars and paper scraps into dorm-safe Jack-o-lantern votives.

3.) Upcycle It!: The Sustainability Center partnered with the Student Orientation Leaders to sponsor an event where old university event T-Shirts were made into reusable grocery bags and dog toys. The grocery bags were donated to the Vandal Food Pantry, while the dog toys were donated to the Humane Society of the Palouse.

The Recycling/Event Coordinator also provided educational support to the recycling efforts for two major university events, Palousafest and the CNR Welcome Back Barbeque. This required them to stand in front of the row of bins and communicate with each participant how to accurately sort trash, recycling, and food waste.

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

Internal Audit Services provides independent and objective auditing and consultation services designed to add value and improve the university’s operations, and to help the university accomplish its objectives by evaluating the effectiveness of risk management, internal control and governance processes. Internal Audit conducts investigations of potential violations of the university’s ethics policy, which includes fraud, waste and abuse.

The Sustainability Center periodically conducts waste audits and posts results on online at: https://www.uidaho.edu/current-students/sustainability-center/resources/reports. A 2009 campus waste characterization study found that 68% of waste can be composted or recycled. These findings led to the campus Food and Farm Composting program which was established in 2010.

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

UI Purchasing Services works with vendors to purchase items that utilize recyclable packaging and low-waste options. This is beneficial not only for the environment, but makes maintenance and cleaning of UI facilities more cost effective.

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

The University Surplus operation manages the auction and sale of university assets that are no longer in active use, as part of the Recycling Surplus and Solid Waste Division.

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

Items for surplus can be previewed by UI departments and other agencies two weeks prior to a Public Auction. In addition, pre-priced items are sold in an on campus store which is open to all.

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

Students are allowed to print 250 pages each semester. Additional pages are $0.05, and color pages are $1.00 (or 20 black-white pages). Double sided printing is the default in most computer labs (a double sided printed page is weighted as a single printed page)

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

Course catalogs, course schedules and directories are all available, by default, online. A limited number of printed course catalogs are provided to college advisers.

Professors are encouraged to provide their course schedule, syllabus, and homework online through Canvas, a virtual learning environment and course management system, or through a course website.

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

Students moving out of residence halls or the Greek community are encouraged to donate durable, reusable goods such as clothing, household goods, kitchen supplies electronics, and non-perishable food to the Sustainability Center's Give and Go program. Materials are distributed to local charities and a campus food bank.

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

Evolve, coordinated by Sustainability Center student staff, is an ink recycling program with 19 collection locations throughout campus.

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

Due to the pandemic and other related complications, the Recycling Program at UI was suspended. It is expected to be reinstated in a new format by 2023.

Jeremy Mutart, Surplus and Solid Waster Supervisor and Financial Specialist; Facilities

Programs and Initiatives: Olivia Wiebe, Sustainability Center Coordinator, Department of Student Involvement

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.