Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 77.56
Liaison Ruairi O'Mahony
Submission Date Feb. 15, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Massachusetts Lowell
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.92 / 8.00 Tyler Arrigo
Program Coordinator- Sustainability
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 312.30 Tons 248 Tons
Materials composted 277 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 86 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 34 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 767 Tons 1,896 Tons
Total waste generated 1,476.30 Tons 2,144 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility, including affirmation that materials are sorted prior to conversion to recover recyclables and compostable materials:

UMass Lowell has all of it's fry oil converted into biodiesel for heating. Fry oil is separated from traditional waste by dining services staff and hauled to a conversion facility through a third-party.

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2017 June 30, 2018
Baseline Year July 1, 2007 June 30, 2008

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):

The university started it's recycling program the year our baseline was addressed.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 4,425 2,248
Number of employees resident on-site 11 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 3 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 14,357 8,548
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 1,719 1,255
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 3,876 825
Weighted campus users 10,262 7,295.50

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.14 Tons 0.29 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 No
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Laboratory equipment Yes
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets No
Tires No
Other (please specify below) Yes

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

UMass Lowell also recycles mattresses through a local organization called the United Teen Equality Center (UTEC). UTEC is a Lowell-based youth services organization that picks up, deconstructs and recycles mattresses and part of it's workforce training program for proven risk youth.

The university also has an extensive electronics recycling program and it is free for campus members to utilize.

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:

The university's waste hauler is Casella Waste Solutions they developed signs for us that are very clear and allow building occupants to easily identify what items can be recycled or thrown into the trash. In addition, due to Casilla's back-end recycling sorting program contamination is very low and material recovery is very high.

Casella sends all of it's single stream recycleables to its sorting facilities. They split the comingled materials into their respective streams before sending off for material conversion. You can learn more by visiting this https://www.casella.com/services/recycling/zero-sort-recycling or viewing this detailed video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_U6UuFLEGQ

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:

The university actively works with students to teach them how to recycle and is actively working to improve signage and containers across campus.

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 are regularly conducted by our staff. A whole student position is focused on auditing and identifying waste issues.

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

UMass Lowell's Sustainability Initiative and Design Guidelines provides recommendations for preferred building material purchasing. The guidelines promote the purchase of materials with recycled content – either post-consumer or pre‐consumer recycled content as well as materials that are manufactured “locally,” within 500 miles.

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

UMass Lowell uses surplus materials in house but does not track weight.

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):

UMass Lowell encourages using materials on campus instead of disposing of them. It is a very common occurrence on campus.

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):

UMass Lowell has a UPrint policy which is a green initiative that is aimed to reduce paper waste by eliminating unwanted and excess printing. UPrint is a software solution, a package called Pharos Uniprint, which is utilized by all UMass campuses and most Massachusetts public universities. UMass Lowell's libraries also host several online databases with resources that are not in print and only available online.

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:

UMass Lowell has made many strides to limit printing paper. Some illustrative examples are listed:
• For UMass Lowell offices there has been a large Document Imaging campaign encouraging people to digitize their paper files and store everything digitally. http://www.uml.edu/IT/DI/Intro-DI.aspx
• In the academic setting, the university uses program such as Turnitin, Blackboard, Wikispaces, and clicker technology to reduce the number of paper quizzes handouts necessary. Most classes are run with limited paper because of this.
• Nearly all academic departments and research groups have shared drives and file servers to make sharing and editing files digitally seamless and secure. http://www.uml.edu/IT/News-Events/Shareit.aspx & http://www.uml.edu/IT/Services/Get-connected/File-Shares.aspx
• UMass Lowell is improving software access so people can all be guaranteed to have the capacity to work digitally with the VLabs program. http://www.uml.edu/IT/Services/vLabs/default.aspx

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

UMass Lowell works to reduce residence hall waste by hosting move in recycling programs and encouraging people to separate their waste at dumpsters. At the conclusion of every semester the Office of Sustainability hosts move out collection drives and donates all of the material to Lowell organizations.

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

UMass Lowell has programs in place to recycle: paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, aluminum, tin, steel, toner cartridges, lawn and yard waste, scrap metal, C&D waste, white goods, electronics & computers, batteries, vegetable oil, fluorescent lamps, waste oil, lab glass, ballasts, silver, empty metal drums & soil; also note: UMass Lowell Toxic Use Reduction Institute is expanding waste minimization beyond campus borders.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

UMass Lowell has a well-developed Recycling & Waste Diversion program in place. The university’s primary goal is to reduce our overall output of waste. The majority of recycling occurs through our Zero-Sort program including all mixed paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, aluminum, tin and steel. Every effort is made to find a local organization to accept our materials and we prefer to only use organizations that are R2 certified or equivalent. Collection bins with clear signage are located throughout the university and picked up regularly.

This data is based off of our FY2018 Waste data.

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.