Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 54.76
Liaison Jamie Greiner
Submission Date March 22, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Mount Union
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.12 / 8.00 Jamie Greiner
Sustainability and Campus Outreach Manager
Nature Center
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 201.35 Tons 25 Tons
Materials composted 1 Tons 1 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 15 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 450 Tons 510 Tons
Total waste generated 667.35 Tons 536 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 July 1, 2015 June 30, 2016
Baseline Year July 1, 2006 June 30, 2007

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):

Started Stars & GGER in 2006

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 1,373 1,337
Number of employees resident on-site 52 6
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 2,202 2,082
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 406 406
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 55 0
Weighted campus users 2,271 2,201.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.29 Tons 0.24 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 No
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 Yes
Pallets No
Tires Yes
Other (please specify below) Yes

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

A large volume of library books and book-ends were recycled in Spring 2020 to make way for new offices - this volume was 17.75 Tons. Also, toner cartridges are recycled for all copiers/printers. We were also recycling all dry erase markers through a partnership with a local school, which was part of Crayola's ColorCycle Program (on hold currently due to pandemic).

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:

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 are posted above all recycling containers that detail what can go into the bins. The campus participates in RecycleMania and Game Day Challenge each year. The Green Raiders have had numerous table top displays about recycling. The Green Raiders have a "Recycling Relay" that is given as a program in the Residence halls.

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

Food waste audits are conducted periodically to access the amount of food being discarded. We have seen a decrease in food waste. Also, during RecycleMania, in addition to weighing materials the students access contamination levels.

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

The University Green Sustainability Purchasing Plan states:

• To work with suppliers in the area in the areas of reduction and reuse of packaging materials

• More specifically, Mount Union will consider utilizing to the fullest extent
possible, environmentally friendly or green products that have the following
attributes or qualities:
o Durable as opposed to single use or disposable items.
o Made of recycled materials, maximizing post-consumer content.
o Non-toxic or minimally toxic, preferably biodegradable.
o Highly energy efficient in production and use.
o Recyclable, but if not, may be disposed of safely.
o Made from raw materials obtained in an environmentally sound,
sustainable manner.
o Manufactured in an environmentally sound, sustainable manner by
companies with good environmental track records.
o Cause minimal or no environmental damage during normal use or
o Shipped with minimal packaging (consistent with care of product)
o Produced locally or regionally to minimize the environmental cost of
shipping and the reduction of emissions during transportation.

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

Yes, we currently do an exchange program within the department for office supplies.

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):

Raider's Cove, a free student resource center was established in 2020. This allows for the donation of food, clothing, hygiene items, etc. for use by other students. Additionally, a Pop-up Thrift Shop is held annually to allow students to donate items for re-use by other students. This is fee-based and all proceeds go to support an environmental non-profit.

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):

Students are charged for printing.
All copiers and University computers are default set to 2-sided priting.
Desktop printers are no longer supported.

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:

Yes, we currently promote making all documents electronic to negate the need to print.

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

MOVE OUT: Trash to Treasure Sale
"Trash to Treasure", is a move-out donation and sale that benefits the United Way of Greater Stark County. On average every year, about $1,000 is donated from items students donate to the sale during move out time.

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

Mount Union is a participant in Campus Race to Zero Waste, Formerly RecycleMania, an international waste minimization and recycling competition and Game Day Challenge Football, a national waste and recycling competition.

RecycleMania began in January 2001 as a challenge between Ohio University and Miami University. Looking for ways to motivate student to recycle more, their recycling coordinators tapped into the existing sports rivalry to see which one could recycle the most per student over a 10 week period. Miami won that first year and the RecycleMania Tournament was born.

Over the next several years the competition grew informally, adding schools by word of mouth.

Beginning in 2004, RecycleMania partnered with the U.S. EPA WasteWise program to develop a website and for the first time provide dedicated administrative support for the program. In 2005 the program expanded to include the Recycling Rate category (later to be retitled Diversion), followed the next year with the introduction of the Waste Minimization, Food Organics and targeted materials categories.

RecycleMania has continued to grow. Since 2001 over 1,000 colleges and universities across the US and Canada have participated. During the 2020 competition 4.5 million students and staff from 300 U.S. and Canadian campuses recycled and composted 48.6 million pounds, stopped 380 million plastics containers from going to the landfill, preventing the release of 70,875 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to preventing the annual emissions from 15,047 cars.

In 2020, RecycleMania changed its name to Campus Race to Zero Waste to better reflect the purpose of the program - to help colleges and universities find pathways toward zero waste (90+% diverted from trash) on campus. A more comprehensive approach, zero waste accounts for everything from increasing recycling and food organics (composting) as a ratio of waste to reducing consumption, food waste, and single-use plastics.

"The GameDay Recycling Challenge is a friendly competition for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction at their football games. During the challenge, colleges and universities implement waste reduction programs during home football games. Schools track and report waste reductions and disposal data that is used to rank the schools.

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

Additional documentation to support the submission:

The performance year trash amount was taken from the GHG report. The recycling amount was calculated by extrapolating data from the recycling vendor provided during RecycleMania to the entire year. Composted is estimated for leaf removal and Nature Center compost heap. Donations/re-sold estimated for Trash to Treasure/Raider's Cove.

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.