Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.41
Liaison David Tedder
Submission Date Sept. 30, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Kentucky
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.06 / 8.00 Joanna Ashford
Recycling Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 2,627 Tons 2,597 Tons
Materials composted 526 Tons 273 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 789 Tons 863 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 10,262 Tons 10,309 Tons
Total waste generated 14,204 Tons 14,042 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 Jan. 1, 2018 Dec. 31, 2018
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2017 Dec. 31, 2017

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):

UK made significant changes in the 2017 to capture actual weights on material recycled, composted, donated or landfilled. UK feel confident in the numbers generated in 2017 to use as a baseline standard for this report.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 6,547 6,225
Number of employees resident on-site 59 57
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 825 823
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 26,555 25,919
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 12,430 12,343
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1,769 1,750
Weighted campus users 30,388.50 29,777.50

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.47 Tons 0.47 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 No
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 Yes
Other (please specify below) No

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

Hardbound books, oil filters, organics (leave, logs, wood chips), #5 plastic from labs, and blue wrap, batteries, hard drives, motor oil, light bulbs, printer cartridges/toner, clear plastic film, hard plastic trays(healthcare plastic), x-ray film.

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:

UK has implemented a standard for recycling containers used on campus. All recycling containers are paired with a landfill container and have a lid with a restrictive opening to help prevent contamination. Education and outreach is done throughout the year to educate students, faculty and staff on what is recyclable at UK.

UK Recycling also completes audits on loads of material sent to the Materials Recovery Facility to identify areas of contamination on campus. Additionally, interns and student workers conduct dumpster visual audits to assess areas that are landfilling recycable material and contaminating recycling container.

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:

In 2018 UK Recycling, in partnership with UK Sustainability and UK Dining launched UK POP (Pass on Plastic) campaign. Students, Faculty and Staff were asked to take a pledge to reduce their single-use plastic use both on campus and in their day-to-day life (focusing primarily on water bottles, plastic bags and straws). Almost 2,000 students, faculty and staff took the pledge!

Additionally, UK Recycling holds pledge campaigns each November for America Recycles Day and April for Earth Day. UK Recycling has had great success with each pledge drives and plans to continue this form of outreach.

Signs are used to educate students, faculty and staff about what is recyclable at UK. Signs are used on all recycling containers, dumpsters and compactors on campus.

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

In 2018 UK contracted a company to undertake a full scale waste characterization study. A final report was submitted to the university in March 2019 and UK is working on an education plan based on the waste characterization findings.

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

UK Recycling, Purchasing and Sustainability are beginning discussions on developing a sustainability purchasing protocol.

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

UK has a comprehensive surplus property program that allows departments and units to reuse all types of materials. There are also 5 public auctions each year. The university utilizes GovDeals to sell items online and has a SWAP email listserv (departments posting online and other departments claiming without having to truck into the surplus warehouse).

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):

UK has a SWAP email listserv that allows individuals and departments to post items they want to discard. This allows other departments to claim the item without moving the material to surplus warehouse.

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):

All of the printers and copiers operated by our libraries and our UKIT Student Computer Labs are set up to charge per page. We do not offer free student printing on campus.

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:

Beginning in 2006 the University stopped printing course catalogs, schedules and directories and moved to online access only. We also have moved to a mandatory paperless payroll program.

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

UK Recycling has teamed up with Goodwill of Kentucky to start the Give and Go Donation Station in each residence hall. Students are encouraged to donate all unwanted items, including unopened food and hygiene items, to be donated and reused. In the last year, UK collected over 9 tons of material.

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

UK Recycling works closely with custodial staff, building operators and facilities managers to capture other items that can be recycled including paint, light bulbs, styrofoam coolers and batteries.

We also work closely with Residence Hall managers and capture all mini-fridge, microwaves and furniture throughout the year to either donate or recycle properly.

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

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.