Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 51.71
Liaison Jeffrey Severin
Submission Date July 17, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Kansas
OP-23: Waste Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.77 / 3.00 Jeff Severin
KU Center for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Materials diverted from the solid waste landfill or incinerator:
1,473.34 Tons

Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator :
4,233.96 Tons

A brief description of programs, policies, infrastructure investments, outreach efforts, and/or other factors that contributed to the diversion rate, including efforts made during the previous three years:

Rock Chalk Recycle was launched in fall 2013 following a summer of intense planning to improve waste management at athletic events through changes in infrastructure, education, and branding at Athletic events, and eventually campus-wide. This partnership between Kansas Athletics, KU Dining Services, and KU Recycling established a new collection system, replacing single trash cans at all Athletics venues with a 3-bin system to capture recyclable materials and food waste as well as trash. In addition to the new system, volunteers were posted at the 3-bin waste stations to help educate fans about recycling and composting and assist with sorting material.

The achievement of Rock Chalk Recycle drew national acclaim as it was recognized by Keep America Beautiful, the College and University Recycling Coalition and RecycleMania for its efforts in the 2013 Football Game Day Recycling competition.

KU Recycling will be implementing the branding created for this initiative throughout campus as it converts to single stream recycling in 2015. KU Recycling is a service department responsible for assisting the University of Kansas and campus living groups with developing and implementing integrated waste reduction efforts and environmental awareness and improvement programs. The programs employs students Recycling Technicians and 3 full-time staff. Recycling Technicians currently collect office paper, newspaper, cardboard, aluminum cans, steel cans, and #1 PET, #2 HDPE and #3 - #7 plastic bottles and tubs from academic and administrative buildings, KU Dining Services locations, and on-campus Student Housing facilities. Recyclable materials are transported to our central accumulation site on west campus, sorted and baled.

In addition to this program, KU Surplus conducts special collections for surplus property including furniture and office supplies. Surplus items are either recycled or put in storage for redistribution to University departments and non-profit organizations. Facilities Services also recycles scrap metal and maintains a static compost pile for yard waste.

KU Recycling and the Center for Sustainability work closely with the Student Senate - Student Environmental Advisory Board (SEAB), KU Environs and other campus groups to address students' concerns about campus recycling and conservation issues. Students play an important role in the development of campus waste reduction practices.

A brief description of any food donation programs employed by the institution:

We partner with a student volunteer program called "Daily Bread". Following strict guidelines for food collection/delivery the volunteers communicate with our dining managers in both our retail and residential dining locations each week and just previous to "down times"/holiday breaks. They then collect and deliver designated foods to be donated to local shelters and community kitchens. A KU Dining representative (Assistant Dir.) serves on a campus committee, "KU Fights Hunger", providing education, resources and food donations to the campus food pantry and local county food bank, Just Food.

A brief description of any pre-consumer food waste composting program employed by the institution:

KU Dining now has an established composting program in place for all 4 residential dining centers as of fall 2013. Annually diverting approx. 500 tons of compostable material from the local landfill. One dining unit partners with local farmers and students with the student garden project to donate pre-consumer food waste to use as farm animal feed and some for compost material. Dining Services continues to research the feasibility and affordability of composting in order to expand to the retail dining facilities in the coming years.

A brief description of any post-consumer food waste composting program employed by the institution:

As part of the program described under "Pre Consumer Food Waste Composting," post-consumer food waste/compostable materials are i removed from the dish return conveyor by dishroom staff and disposed of in designated bins marked for “COMPOST” and taken to containers outside for compost pick up. Monthly reports are sent from the company with exact weights of compostable material that is being diverted from local landfill.

Does the institution include the following materials in its waste diversion efforts?:
Yes or No
Paper, plastics, glass, metals, and other recyclable containers Yes
Food donations Yes
Food for animals Yes
Food composting Yes
Cooking oil Yes
Plant materials composting Yes
Animal bedding composting No
Batteries Yes
Light bulbs Yes
Toner/ink-jet cartridges 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
Motor oil Yes
Tires ---

Other materials that the institution includes in its waste diversion efforts:

Data on materials diverted does not include weights for food donated, food for animals, cooking oil, light bulbs, toner cartridges, pallets, or motor oil. Landfilled material is calculated using tonnage data when available, but the majority is based on estimates of collection capacity and frequency of removal (i.e. volume of dumpsters x frequency of collection x conversion factor of 90 lbs/cubic yard).

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.