Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.58
Liaison Steve Mital
Submission Date May 18, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Oregon
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.49 / 5.00 Karyn Kaplan
Environmental Resource and Recycling Manager
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,661.06 Tons 1,507 Tons
Materials composted 339.11 Tons 49 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 34.50 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,379.67 Tons 1,727 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 4,125 3,950
Number of residential employees 13 16
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 23,455 19,301
Full-time equivalent of employees 4,690 4,377
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 30 400

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2014 June 30, 2015
Baseline Year July 1, 2003 June 30, 2004

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted:

The program does occasional studies of what's going in the dumpsters to evaluate needed improvements. We have created this program called Garbage Watch to do informal observations. We do waste audits for buildings being evaluated for LEED EBOM, have used waste audits as educational opportunities at larger events like EARTH WEEK and utilize waste audits as needed from small to large scale.

A brief description of any (non-food) waste audits employed by the institution:

The University of Oregon Campus Recycling Program was re-branded to the UO Zero Waste Program in 2012. In 2014, the Program introduced composting in 5 buildings. These feature central zero waste stations that capture entire waste stream: paper, glass/metal/plastics/cartons, compost and landfill materials. In 2014-15 the recovery rate rose to 59.12% due to these efforts. The zero waste system is now a campus standard and is being implemented through campus construction

The UO Comprehensive Environmental Policy is in place and including purchasing policies to reduce waste and increase recoverable inputs. The Campus Construction Standards also include a standard for zero waste systems implemented in buildings and has been the most successful process for implementing and increasing zero waste efforts on campus.

A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

The University of Oregon operates several programs to reuse campus property as follows: reusable surplus property program operates out of the Romania Warehouse where campus property is held for campus users to come and take as well as items are cleared out through non-profit distribution. This amounts to reducing waste by countless tons, though this isn't currently tracked for tonnage reduction.

Additionally, the Zero Waste Program operates the Reusable Office Supply Exchange resulting in savings of an average of $20,000/year in purchase of new office supplies. There is no tracking for exact weights or volumes of materials that are re-distributed.

A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

We are living in a digital age. Everyone on campus now has access to email. The University has worked to reduce paper announcements and incoming bulk mail through many years of hard work in developing mechanisms for campus users to remove themselves from hard copy mailing lists. There has been a notable though unmeasured reduction in printed materials coming into the Zero Waste Program. This includes an overall reduction in incoming unsolicited general announcements and bulk mail to departments.

A brief description of the institution's efforts to make materials available online by default rather than printing them:

The University of Oregon Recycled Paper policy favors use of soy based inks and waste reduction in printing and copying processes including but not limited to: making double side printing/copying a default, using 100% post consumer recycled paper is a default and utilizing non-toxic inks and dyes as well.

A brief description of any limits on paper and ink consumption employed by the institution:

The Zero Waste Program has a move-in and move-out recovery program that has been highly successful. For move-ins, the focus is on recovering packaging, stretch wrap and cardboard. During move-outs week, the Zero Waste Program coordinates up to 100 volunteers to support our charitable donation and material recover efforts. For 2014-15, 33.4 tons of reusables were donated to a family center to re-distribute to low-income families.

Additionally, the University has made a concerted effort to expand information and opportunities to students living off-campus to donate and recycle when moving out. This effort continues to grow.

A brief description of any programs employed by the institution to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:

Other projects include a reusable lost and found water bottle collection, washing and labeling for re-distribution campus wide. There are also specialized areas where reusables are collected.

A brief description of any other (non-food) waste minimization strategies employed by the institution:

The Zero Waste Program does periodic food waste audits as opportunities arise.

A brief description of any food waste audits employed by the institution:

The food service areas all compost pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste and other compostables. Cooked and not served food is donated to a local food bank.

A brief description of any programs and/or practices to track and reduce pre-consumer food waste in the form of kitchen food waste, prep waste and spoilage:

All compost and recover is measured and tracked through collection and actual tonnage from hauler/processor. We have extensive records on everything we do.

A brief description of programs and/or practices to track and reduce post-consumer food waste:

All campus food service areas utilize compostable inputs and capture including catering, housing food service and campus cafes.

A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable and/or third party certified compostable to-go containers for to-go food and beverage items (in conjunction with a composting program):

Campus Housing utilizes reusable plates and service ware for dining in. To go containers are compostable. Catering offers an option of durables or compostables for all campus catered events.

A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable service ware for “dine in” meals and reusable and/or third party certified compostable service ware for to-go meals (in conjunction with a composting program):

The coffee outlets on campus offer a 25 cent discount for refill cups. Starbucks offers a 10 cent refill discount.

A brief description of any discounts offered to customers who use reusable containers (e.g. mugs) instead of disposable or compostable containers in to-go food service operations:

bulk purchasing, some reusable plates, each student gets a refillable drinking container and inroom recycling bin, all disposables are compostables, zero waste events services, food recovery, local purchasing, refill discounts at food service outlets.

A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:
The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

Regarding full-time equivalent of distance education students, performance year: This is annualized FTE for students exclusively enrolled in distance ed. In the past, reported any students taking distance ed courses.

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.