Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.75
Liaison Cindy Shea
Submission Date July 24, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.59 / 8.00 BJ Tipton
Program Manager, Solid Waste Services
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 4,599.70 Tons 3,299.52 Tons
Materials composted 659.90 Tons 256.48 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 19 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 5,943.60 Tons 6,819 Tons
Total waste generated 11,222.20 Tons 10,375 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, 2000 June 30, 2001

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 became the first in the state to hire a full-time Sustainability Coordinator in 2001.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 8,498 7,063
Number of employees resident on-site 17 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 27,518 22,999.75
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 12,213.24 9,457.14
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1,887 550.50
Weighted campus users 30,511.93 25,695.54

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.37 Tons 0.40 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 Yes
Tires Yes
Other (please specify below) Yes

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

Construction and demolition materials, concrete and block, auto oil filters, auto coolant, auto batteries, mattress bags, bulk solvent, carpet, other e-waste.

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) :
0 Tons

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:

Signage is pervasive in labs, office buildings, and 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:

New initiatives moving the campus towards zero waste called for a suite of waste audits to benchmark current campus behavior. Five waste audits held in 2016 and three in 2017 thus far show recycling behaviors of administrative buildings and residence halls. Waste audits will be used to inform recycling and composting programs.
Also in 2016, the University contracted the services of a consulting company to provide a waste characterization study.

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

Bulk dispensers are used to reduce packaging in the Dining Halls, i.e. - juices, sodas, milk, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, and cereals.

The electronic procurement website defaults most virgin paper purchases to 30% post-consumer recycled content.

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

University property considered unusable or unserviceable is sent to the Surplus Property Warehouse. The Warehouse sells used equipment and furniture at deeply discounted prices to University departments and the general public.

The Glass Shop repairs scientific glassware for reuse.

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):

At the beginning of each semester “ITS Print Plan” funds become available for all full-time, fee-paying students. Students can print $40 / 800 pages per semester and $17.50 / 350 pages for each summer session. Black and white printing costs $.05 per side of printed material. Color printing costs $.30 per side. The ITS Print Plan fund can only be used towards printing done in the ITS Labs supported locations. The funds do not roll over to the next semester or session. Double-sided printing is the default setting.

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:

Course catalogs, campus directories, accounting forms, and purchasing requisitions are now available electronically instead of printed.

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

When almost 9,000 students move onto campus in a week, the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling recruits additional personnel to staff dumpster sites. In August 2016, these crews recovered 18 tons of cardboard, 260 pounds of plastic film and polystyrene, and 600 pounds of Styrofoam for recycling.

During move-out in May, the Department of Housing and Residential Education and the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling set up donation stations in each residence hall or community. Residents may donate clothing, office supplies, personal care items, furniture, appliances, books, and food.

Since 2012, donations are picked up and used by Durham-based non-profit TROSA (Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers), which uses the items in their residential treatment programs or multiple reuse businesses. Broken electronics are sent for recycling to American Greenz in Durham, and used bedding is donated to Paws4Ever, a local no-kill animal shelter. Off campus students could take their extra items to the county's Reuse Rodeo and multiple convenience centers.

DHRE and OWRR promote the donation stations using a social marketing campaign--“Don’t Ditch It. Donate It!”-- throughout residence hall and campus media.

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

An active tailgate recycling program, and post-game recycling collection in the football stadium, diverts materials from the landfill. UNC competes in the Game Day Challenge, a friendly competition between colleges and universities to see which institution can reduce and recycle the most waste from a single home football game. UNC participated in the first RecycleMania Basketball Game Day Challenge as well.

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.