Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.00
Liaison Jonna Korpi
Submission Date Nov. 4, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Minnesota, Duluth
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.42 / 8.00 Mindy Granley
Sustainability Director
UMD 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 366.22 Tons 247.73 Tons
Materials composted 176.55 Tons 157.20 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 25.62 Tons 23.40 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 691.99 Tons 737.22 Tons
Total waste generated 1,260.38 Tons 1,165.55 Tons

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

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):

Baseline set as 2017 due to greater depth of data gathering: more comprehensive, consistent, and accurate than any data gathered up to this point.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 3,094 3,116
Number of employees resident on-site 6 6
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 10,505 10,324
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 1,550 1,553
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 9,816.25 9,688.25

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.13 Tons 0.12 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 No
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal No
Pallets No
Tires Yes
Other (please specify below) No

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

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 Office of Sustainability conducts waste audits multiple times per year to monitor participation and contamination within the waste sorting system.

Most commonly identified contaminants in the recycling bin are compostable products (coffee cups, Coke cups, and green stripe plant plastic cups from our food outlets) and liquids. Liquids can account for up to 10% of the weight in the recycling sample at times.

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:

Signs and posters are placed near waste receptacles across campus to assist people in getting items in the right bin. As new items are added to our compost stream, the posters are updated in digital form and individual departments are responsible for printing new signs and posting them in their non-public areas, as appropriate. Housing and Residence Life staff utilize hall/floor events and bulletin boards to educate students about recycling and the collection rooms are supplied with recycling and trash bins to assist with ease of disposal. Green office certification is available for departments/staff, which includes a rating on their waste disposal/diversion efforts. The results of which can be displayed on their office door and is a badge of pride for those who participate in the program.

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

Several waste audits have been performed over the last several years, including Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, and Spring 2018 (x2). These audits have focused on specific areas, such as the Kirby Student Center and have been more inclusive to campus-wide as well. Each audit has provided valuable feedback that has been reported to the campus community, department leaders, and facilities management/custodial to make improvements and increase awareness. In Fall 2017, the audit was not of waste per se, but of the waste receptacles themselves. This "bin audit" helped identify the total number and location of trash, recycle, and compost bins across campus and the report that students produced around the results is actively being used to reduce the number of trash bins, increase waste sorting stations (removing standalone bins), and making access to compost bins more convenient.

Audit & Assessment Data can be found at:

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

“Subd.2.Operations. Each University campus shall develop specific sustainability objectives and targets in the areas of:
(a) physical planning and development, including buildings and infrastructure;
(b) operations;
(c) transportation;
(d) purchasing; and
(e) waste management and abatement.”

One example is within UMD Dining Services: food is purchased in bulk containers, and individually-wrapped condiments are avoided in the Dining Center, Food Court, and at UMD Catering events. Bakery and other goods are also delivered in reusable crates.

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

UMD does not have a formal surplus department. However, UMD items that have been offered up through the UMD Free to Departments listserv and have gone unclaimed will be picked up by Facilities Management through a work order. These items will then be stored for future campus reuse or donated to area non-profits that have a need.

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):

UMD has an email listserv for re-use of furniture and office supplies around campus. Faculty and staff can send emails (with pictures) to the "UMD Free to Departments: list at free2depts@d.umn.edu.

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):

UMD uses a pay-per-page printing system.
5 cents per 8.5 x 11 inch black and white page
20 cents per 11 x 17 inch black and white page
$1.00 per 8.5 x 11 inch color page.
$2.50 per 11 x 17 inch color page.

See: http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/labs/printing/

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:

UMD instituted a mobile app in 2018 to make navigating UMD-related information easier for students, as a large proportion of website visitors were shown to be accessing content via mobile devices. The app has modules and links that are easy to find and access, more so than traditionally when browsing from a phone. This app also has the ability to have specialty 'modules', one of which is Bulldog Welcome Week/new student orientation which gives students a direct portal to all things BWW/Orientation, which they would have previously received in a printed packet. Graduation/commencement also has its own module, further eliminating printer paper documents and increasing access to information.

The UMD Catalog describes all of the programs and courses offered at UMD. It is available online at: http://www.d.umn.edu/catalogs/current/

The UMD Catalog is not printed, although students who have special needs can request alternate versions or assistance with the Catalog.

A Catalog archive also makes it easy and searchable to find past curriculum offerings.

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

UMD provides many options for students to swap, sell, and donate furniture and other items. There are two active sites on Facebook for swapping or selling items locally: UMD Free & For Sale and Duluth Exchange Swap & Sell.

During move-out, Housing & Residence Life (HRL) staff provide collection bins in every building for students to donate clothing, household items, small appliances, and non-perishable food. These donations are sorted by HRL staff and non-perishable food is donated to our on-campus food pantry (Champ's Cupboard) and local food banks. Clothing and household items/small appliances are donated to our on-campus interview/work wear free store (Champ's Closet) and local non-profits.

We also partner with Goodwill Duluth to host donation bins on campus which provides a convenient donation drop-off for students that live off campus. Finally, UMD Facilities Management offers a free furniture/large item Pick-up Service to assist students in donating their larger items during move-out.

Details can be found at: z.umn.edu/moveout.

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:

NOTE: Original (2007 Report) baseline waste data tonnage only included academic buildings on the main body of campus, therefore we chose a new baseline year of 2017, which includes Housing & Residence Life data (recycling and waste for residence halls AND apartments), Dining services data (pulper compost) and some off-campus buildings that were not included in the previous report (NRRI, Chester Park). All data going forward will include these new, more comprehensive data points, as reflected in our performance year data.

NOTE: Because donated, swapped/Free2Depts, and Furniture pick-up items are not yet tracked by weight, the "Materials reused, donated or re-sold" tonnage appears to be 0. However much material is re-used around campus and donated to local organizations.

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.