Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.00
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of New Hampshire
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.36 / 8.00 Jennifer Andrews
Project Director
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 697.43 Tons 767.70 Tons
Materials composted 206.74 Tons 204.90 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 120 Tons 23.23 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,352.70 Tons 1,455 Tons
Total waste generated 2,376.87 Tons 2,450.83 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, 2016 June 30, 2017
Baseline Year July 1, 2014 June 30, 2015

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):

FY15 is the first year for which we have comprehensive waste and recycling data for all of the categories which we currently track (i.e. landfill, single-stream recycling, shredded paper, cardboard, scrap metal, waste grease, and recycled electronics.) It is also a year prior to the establishment of the Zero Waste Task Force, so it provides a useful basis for comparison and evaluation of the efficacy of the Task Force's efforts.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 7,396 7,466
Number of employees resident on-site 23 23
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 14,292 14,130
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 2,930 2,840
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 89 0
Weighted campus users 14,704.50 14,599.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.16 Tons 0.17 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 No
Animal bedding Yes
White goods (i.e. appliances) No
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:

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:

A concerted outreach and education campaign in campus housing, conducted by Residential Life and focused on increased recycling rates, resulted in a reduction of 16% in the amount of waste per student being sent to the landfill from campus dorms in fall 2016.
In the dining halls, the "Task Less, Waste Less" campaign, initiated in 2016, reminds patrons to be mindful of taking only what they intend to eat. This involves signage spread throughout all three dining halls, as well as periodic public "plate scrape" exercises at waste disposal sites in the dining halls,

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

In 2013, the Post Landfill Action Network conducted a UNH waste audit of of campus, including student move in and move out days. In early 2016 we used this data to kick off a "Zero Waste Task Force" charged by UNH's President Huddleston with delivering initial recommendations for moving the university toward a zero waste status.

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

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

The University System of New Hampshire Purchasing Office facilitates the Surplus Property program. Through the Surplus Property website, individuals can browse and/or upload to an online inventory of surplus items (furniture, miscellaneous, audio/visual equipment, computers, research equipment, vehicles) available for sale to university departments and the general public. Surplus may also be transferred to another department, donated to a non-profit organization, create an advertisement for the sale of surplus, or request to scrap obsolete equipment.

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):

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):

The majority of Student Computer Clusters (SCCs) require Cats Cache to enable printing. Cats Cache is like a debit card onto which students (and parents) can deposit money. Standard printing rates are 10 cents per page. There are computer labs on campus where free printing is available. Such locations are monitored by a computer lab technician, and students are instructed to limit their use of free printing to five pages.

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:

In the spirit of sustainability and in accordance with President Mark Huddleston’s call to restrict printing and mailing costs, the UNH Campus Directory is now only available online. The online UNH directory for faculty/staff is currently available from the UNH homepage, and the online directories for students and faculty/staff are currently available at: http://www.unh.edu/directories/facstaff.html

Moreover, the undergraduate course catalog completed its transition to online-only delivery with the 2010-2011 edition. The Graduate School's course catalog has been online-only since the 2009-2010 edition. Through MyCourses, students can also view syllabi and course schedules uploaded by instructors, as well as submit papers and exams electronically and register for courses, among other things:


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

In spring 2016, outreach began in March to residents of UNH dorms and apartments that UNH would NOT be providing disposal units for furniture or other goods left behind by students during move-out, and that they would be expected to remove anything they brought with them when they moved in. This outreach included strong promotion of the UNH Trash-to-Treasure program, which was created by members of the UNH Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) and is now administered through the business school's Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise program (https://www.unh.edu/social-innovation/t2t). T2T collects furniture, electronics and other reusable items that students throw away each year, storing it all over the summer, and then holds a large 3-day yard sale during move-in weekend to sell it all back to students. The goal is to create a sustainable program where we will be able to run the program next year with the money we make at the yard sale this year, and so on, for years to come.

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:

Other contacts:

UNH Dining (for composting): David Hill

University System of NH employees can also donate and sell used electronic and other items through USNH Surplus: www.unh.edu/purchasing/surplus/index.html. Also, UNH IT manages the disposal of computers for UNH Durham faculty and staff.

As for ink cartridges, UNH Facilities holds all the printer cartridges until they have a truckload (1-ton pickup), then delivers them to Reliable Technologies in Manchester, NH. The company sorts through the cartridges keeps those that can be recycled (paying UNH for these) and destroying those that cannot. To create fewer cartridges in the first place, UNH Printing Services offers a “Refill, Don’t Landfill” program in which cartridges can be refilled with ink through Cartridge World.

More information on waste reduction available at:

Other contacts: Steve Pesci; Paul Chamberlin; Lisa Pollard

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.