Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.90
Liaison Sarah Stoeckl
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Oregon
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.83 / 8.00 Cimmeron Gillespie
Education & Analytics Coordinator
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 1,207.73 Tons 1,507 Tons
Materials composted 713.74 Tons 49 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 93.12 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 73.14 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,527.56 Tons 1,727 Tons
Total waste generated 3,615.29 Tons 3,283 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility:
Three facilities are used for residual conversion. First is Sequential Bio-fuels, who collects grease and spent cooking oil. All food scraps are sorted out for compost prior to oil collection. Second, a residual conversion facility is used for minor projects scrap materials. The facility, Eco-Sort, hand processes materials for scrap wood, scrap metal, and any salvageable materials. Their sort line pushes material across a conveyor belt on the second floor of a facility, individuals process specific materials, removing any recoverable items, and sorting the recovered item into scrap material bays in the floor below. Remaining materials not recovered and are treated as scrap for disposal. For loads from the UO they produce an average of 40% recovery and 60% disposal/landfill. All other recyclables go through a different collection process and are recovered. Third a collection of Styrofoam is up-cycled using compression molding through St. Vincent De Paul's Society. All Styrofoam is separated from other recyclables during the sorting process.

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Period July 1, 2018 June 30, 2019
Baseline Period July 1, 2003 June 30, 2004

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted:
The Zero Waste Program performs studies of material composition in the waste stream to evaluate needed improvements. The institution maintains waste stream records going back to the 1990s. FY 2004 was established as a baseline year for the STARS report and there has been no reason for movement from that point, therefore the 2004 baseline metric has been maintained.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 4,230 3,950
Number of employees resident on-site 19 16
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 22,082 19,301
Full-time equivalent of employees 5,252 4,377
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 218 400
Weighted campus users 21,399.25 18,450

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.17 Tons 0.18 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 Yes
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Electronics 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:
Woodwaste, mattresses, styrofoam, tires, CD's, mailing envelopes, books, confidential materials,

Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year:
1,578.94 Tons

Does the institution use single stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Does the institution use dual stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Does the institution use multi-stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program:

A brief description of any recycling quality control mechanisms employed:
The University sustains a Zero Waste Program. The Zero Waste program maintains an intermediary processor role, collecting materials across campus, centralizing materials and removing contamination on site. All materials collected for recycling are processed to remove contamination before sending materials on to markets. Initial collection on campus uses a triple stream collection, with paper separated from glass-metal-plastics collection. This preserves the material integrity of the paper and allows for more extensive sorting of glass, metal, and plastic materials. The collection process also separates out cardboard per instructions of the fire marshal and special site-specific collections for particular materials such as Styrofoam, rigid plastics from science areas, and bulk containers from kitchens. The sorting process involves unloading all containers, sorting out materials on a recovery surface, removing all contamination, and further separating materials and to maximize recovery.

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives:
Efforts to change waste-related behavior begin by working with students, faculty, and staff, to promote an understanding of proper sorting and an ethic of active participation in using the collection system. The Zero Waste Program and Office of Sustainability maintain regular educational programming, beginning with the new school year for students, and new employee orientation. Programming occurs through an active presence as introduction workshops, and at Week of Welcome activities during the first week, promotional posters, table tents, digital displays, and active outreach through tabling in residence halls. There is an extensive outreach program during the first weeks of the year, to orient students, and reorient returning students to the current collection standards used on campus. Faculty and staff have ongoing training, offered through the Green Office Certification, and as part of general educational events with the campus community. In addition to basic instruction in recycling students are encouraged to practice waste reduction. Tabling efforts and promotional materials encouraging reuse, second-hand purchasing, and making students aware of campus waste-reduction resources. Regular workshops waste reduction workshops, facility tours, and classroom presentations are given on campus to encourage and foster an ethic of reducing waste and the importance of material recovery. There is signage placed at every waste collection point directing users on how to correctly sort materials. A phone/text-a-picture helpline is available to all campus users to answer any questions and clarify any uncertainty regarding how to properly handle materials. UO is a regular participant in the RecycleMania, the intercollegiate recycling competition. The UO also holds a local recycling competition with Oregon State University, 'The Oregon Classic', to encourage a spirit of enthusiasm in recycling. These competitions help students feel encouraged to have a personal stake in recycling and material recovery. During RecycleMania regular craft workshops are offered to encourage creative reuse efforts, including screen printing, scrap vinyl, and button making. Such workshops help to foster a culture where students and campus users feel comfortable engaging with the waste stream - thinking about their personal impact and the ways waste reduction may be applied. During The Oregon Classic, a weekly scoreboard is published online and in the residence halls with scores on per capita recovery rates. During Move-Outs, a week-long tabling series occurs in each of the residence halls near eating and mail collection areas. Residence are asked to play a games where they identify incorrectly disposed items, and they win a reused cardboard box. These activities encourage residents to think about their waste during Move-Outs and to begin packing and sorting materials for donation before moving out.

A brief description of the institution's waste audits and other initiatives to assess its materials management efforts and identify areas for improvement:
The Zero Waste Program maintains year-round ongoing processing/sorting of materials, when any abnormally high levels of contamination, or specific new contamination sources arrive, this is communicated to the appropriate building liaisons. In 2019 Office of Sustainability performed a series of waste audits across multiple campus building to sample various material streams, such as the student union, academic buildings, buildings with cafe's, libraries, residence halls, and residence halls with dining facilities. This series of waste audits allowed focused approaches to education towards building users and material generators, as well as the ability to better respond to these area's needs.

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste:
The University maintains a centralized purchasing system which applies enterprise utility (efficiency through bulk purchasing across units). Purchasing follows sustainable principles, looking for only energy star electronics, and offering post-consumer recycled content options. By centralizing purchasing, there is reduced transportation waste and all materials are vetted in advance. The sustainable purchasing principles can be found here: https://pcs.uoregon.edu/content/sustainability "Questions to ask about your purchase: -May a reused product meet your needs? -Is the product energy efficient in production and use? -Does the product have a high recycled/post consumer contract? -Is the product reusable? -Does the product have less, recyclable, or biodegradable packaging? -Will the product last (is it durable)? -Was the product produced locally or regionally? -Overall, is the product the least environmentally damaging throughout its lifetime? -Is the product non-toxic or minimally toxic (preferably biodegradable)? -Can the product be recycled and, if not recyclable, may it be disposed of safely? -Is the product made from raw materials obtained in an environmentally sound, sustainable manner?"

A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:
The University of Oregon operates several programs to reuse campus property as follows: reusable surplus property program operates out of a Warehouse where campus property is held for campus users to exchange items and reuse items on campus. Items not reused through surplus property are cleared out through non-profit distribution, donation, recycling, or disposal. See the Office supply exchange and surplus properties program: https://cpfm.uoregon.edu/surplus-office-supplies The surplus properties page is behind a login screen, publicly from the forms page, there is evidence that there are options available to campus users. https://surplus.uoregon.edu/content/forms Additionally, the Zero Waste Program operates the Reusable Office Supply Exchange (ROSE) resulting in savings of an average of $20,000/year through prevention new purchase of new office supplies. See the website for ROSE here: https://cpfm.uoregon.edu/campus-services#ROSE

A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse:
Through the surplus properties program, any item can be listed for other campus users to exchange item peer to peer. This limits the need to centralize materials and lets campus users search for items they need from the comfort of their office. The peer to peer and department to department exchange can cover both office equipment: https://cpfm.uoregon.edu/surplus-office-supplies as well as furniture and similar items. As mentioned above, the surplus properties page is behind a login screen, publicly from the forms page, there is evidence that there are options available to campus users. https://surplus.uoregon.edu/content/forms

A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption:
University centralized purchasing prevents duplication of ordering materials. The University electronic communication policy reduces paper and ink communication. University proactive anti-junk mail activities regularly reduce waste of external materials being printed for the institution. Printing in computer labs is done for a small fee, disincentivizing mass printing. The UO maintains contract language requiring the ink service provider for campus to collect and reuse cartridges, so that partially unused material are not wasted, and new materials are not unnecessarily generated.

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to make materials available online by default rather than printing them:
The UO uses a digital classroom platform Canvas to distribute and take in digital materials such as PDF course documents, and turn in assignments. The University has made electronic mail service the required method of official communication and an email account is setup for every member of the student body, faculty, and staff. This policy and practice make non-print communication the preferred form of communication. There ongoing efforts to limit and reduce junk mail on campus, through printing and mailing services, junk mail subscriptions are actively responded to and discontinued. This practice of rejecting and actively removing junk mail subscriptions reduces print waste.

A brief description of the institution's program to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:
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, broken materials, and cardboard. During move-outs week, the Zero Waste Program coordinates up to 100 volunteers to support charitable donation and material recover efforts. For 2018-19, 51.89 tons of reusables were donated to a family center to re-distribute to low-income families. See the University Housing website on Give Before You Go here: https://housing.uoregon.edu/donate 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. See the UO Housing, Chuck it for Charity events page here: https://gcr.uoregon.edu/chuck-it-charity-reduces-waste-and-clutter-helps-local-nonprofits

A brief description of the institution's programs or initiatives to recover and reuse other materials intended for disposal:
The Zero Waste Program and Office of Sustainability have hosed a series of events including workshops on reuse & repair, educational activities encouraging 2nd had purchasing rather than buying new. The Student Sustainability Center maintains a free store, where students can leave or take items such as clothing, dining ware, and school supplies. https://cpfm.uoregon.edu/zerowaste-about-us The Office of Sustainability has also partnered with the county waste prevention unit to host a 'plastics roundup' collecting items not typically collected by curbside collections. Hundreds of individuals came to recover specific materials. 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. See the Bottles Up program on the Student Sustainability Website here: https://emu.uoregon.edu/waste-reduction

Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Electronic communications policy https://registrar.uoregon.edu/current-students/student-e-mail-communication-policy UO Comprehensive Environmental policy https://cpfm.uoregon.edu/Policy-Sustainability

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.