Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.13
Liaison Trey McDonald
Submission Date March 24, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of San Diego
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 8.00 Alison Sanchirico
Sustainability 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 839.32 Tons 759.09 Tons
Materials composted 0 Tons 120.10 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,417.62 Tons 1,980.18 Tons
Total waste generated 2,256.94 Tons 2,859.37 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility:
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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, 2009 June 30, 2010

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

The baseline year of 2009-2010 was chosen because that is the selected baseline year for the University's Climate Action Plan that was adopted November 2016.


Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,641 2,543
Number of employees resident on-site 20 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 8,328 6,897
Full-time equivalent of employees 2,116.40 1,737
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 377.70 122.30
Weighted campus users 8,215.28 7,019.53

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.27 Tons 0.41 Tons

Percentage reduction in total waste generated per weighted campus user from baseline:
32.56

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator by recycling, composting, donating or re-selling, performance year:
37.19

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator (including up to 10 percent attributable to post-recycling residual conversion):
37.19

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
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:
---

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

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

Does the institution use dual stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:
No

Does the institution use multi-stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:
No

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program:
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A brief description of any recycling quality control mechanisms employed:
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A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives:

In response to new recycling regulations, the Office of Sustainability has made a concerted effort at educating the campus about correct recycling protocol through presentations and social media platforms. Several strides have been made in the capacity of Dining Services, including implementing the OZZI program to reduce single-use food containers, banning plastic straws from campus, switching to more bulk condiments, providing incentives for bringing/using your own cup, and investing in a new bio-hitech digester to divert more food waste from landfills. Toner recycling has also been recently introduced on campus. And donation collection bins now have a permanent place on campus year round (rather than just during move-out), encouraging the campus community to donate unwanted items.


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

Waste audits are conducted by USD's waste hauler (Waste Management) upon request. Waste Management trucks have cameras that make it possibly to estimate waste characterization and identify recycling contamination. Contamination or overage violations are communicated to USD so that behavior change efforts can be adjusted and schedules can be modified to avoid overage incidents. The top violators of these issues are pointed out so that a focus area can be identified. Waste Management provides recommendations based on their findings so that USD can make improvements in appropriate areas - for example, increasing education on the no plastic bag policy, the flattened cardboard policy, and the policy prohibiting liquid wastes in the dumpsters. The company also makes recommendations to the service schedule based on overflow that they encounter.


A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

University of San Diego strives to reduce waste by decreasing wasteful purchases as part of up-stream supply chain policies under procurement. This is incorporated into all practices of purchasing on campus. Within the USD Sustainable Procurement Guidelines (https://www.sandiego.edu/procurement/resources/usd-sustainable-procurement-guidelines.pdf), there is a section entitled, "Responsibilities of End-Users" which states: First consider whether the product or service is truly necessary. If so and where available, take advantage of our Campus-Wide Agreements that cover the intended purchase. Our Campus Wide Agreements are located here: https://www.sandiego.edu/procurement/purchasing-information/

Where a Campus Wide Agreement is not available, consider social and economic factors, as well as factors such as the following when making a purchase: Reduction of energy/water consumption; Maximizing of recycled products used in products; Environmental cost of entire product or Life Cycle Cost; Reuse of existing products or materials in products; Recyclability and/or compostability of products; Minimization of packaging; Toxicity reduction or elimination; Durability and maintenance requirements; Ultimate disposal of the product.


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

The Procurement Services department coordinates an office supply exchange event open to the entire campus community each year to keep needed materials in circulation and to reduce the need to purchase new items that already on campus and not being utilized.


A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse:

The Be Blue Go Green student organization invites all of the undergraduate student body to participate in their meetings and events. They often discuss and/or demonstrate ways to reuse or upcycle items. Examples of this include their do-it-yourself series of workshops that engage the community on making something from older materials they possess- such as a bag from an old t-shirt; planter boxes from used water bottles, etc. Additionally, this student group coordinates bi-annual clothing swaps.

The Office of Sustainability also implements the Eco-Resident Certification Program. During this program, an undergraduate student educator has one-to-one conversations with other USD undergraduates regarding their sustainability practices. During this discussion and in follow-up e-mail messages, the student educator provides tips on reuse and donations.


A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption:

Free printing is not available for students on campus in libraries or labs. 'Campus Cash' loaded on to the USD ID card must be used for printing. The ID card must be swiped at the printer to select and print the required pages. The cost of printing and the balance remaining on the card is shown, which acts to entice students to reconsider printing, particularly if it is a large print job. Single-sided black and white printing costs $0.06 per page. There is a small discount to encourage double-sided printing, and this costs $0.04 per page in black and white. Photocopying costs $0.10 per page.

Those who do not have a USD ID card and wish to print on campus must purchase a $1.00 card from a campus card services terminal or at the the Campus Card Services office.


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

A limited number of course catalogs are made available in print. All information regarding class schedules are online, accessible via each student's MySanDiego portal. Directories are available online to find people, offices, and departments on campus.


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

The Office of Sustainability collaborates with the Orientation Weekend Team regarding communication to students prior to their arrival regarding tips for a sustainable move-in; including storing cardboard boxes for reuse, recycling protocol, energy conservation, bringing reusable bags, and green purchasing information.

For move-out, the Office of Sustainability works closely with Residential Life and the Grounds Department, in partnership with Disabled American Veterans (DAV), to increase the number of donation collection boxes on campus. Locations and information regarding these bins is advertised well. Students are encouraged to donate any unwanted clothing, electronics, linens, toiletries, and household items. All items are donated to DAV.


A brief description of the institution's programs or initiatives to recover and reuse other materials intended for disposal:
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Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Note that the recycling weight includes an estimated 60 tons of green waste that was diverted from landfills and mulched for campus use.

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.