Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 49.23
Liaison Maria Dahmus
Submission Date June 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of St. Thomas
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.64 / 8.00 Nichole Boehmke
Director of Facilities Services
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 497.85 Tons 427.69 Tons
Materials composted 39.70 Tons 23.77 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 25.92 Tons 23.21 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 501.09 Tons 506.09 Tons
Total waste generated 1,064.56 Tons 980.76 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 Jan. 1, 2017 Dec. 31, 2017
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2016 Dec. 31, 2016

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 implemented a new collection and reporting system in the fall of 2015. Calendar years 2016 and 2017 represent the first two full years for which data is available using the same methodology.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,612 2,532
Number of employees resident on-site 17 17
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 9 9
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 8,546 8,566
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 1,535 1,513
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 77.20 77.20
Weighted campus users 8,169.10 8,147.60

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.13 Tons 0.12 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 No
Plant materials Yes
Animal bedding No
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Laboratory equipment No
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets Yes
Tires No
Other (please specify below) Yes

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

Various materials such as banners, books, dishes, select electronics, office supplies, household goods, ink/toner cartridges, cleaning equipment, construction salvage, waste receptacles

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:

Signage has increased to a more universal picture and list guide for increased recycling on all receptacles in public areas of our campuses. Sustainability club members and Facilities Management have spoken to various student groups at orientations and change implementation opportunities.

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

Waste studies are conducted occasionally in order to identify missed capture of recyclables as well as data to support future potential recycling initiatives.

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:

An organized office swap of office supplies is available to all students, faculty, and staff each year in order to reduce waste and excessive purchasing.

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):

The libraries host a used booksale each year for books deaccessioned from our collection as well as books from community members. Many books not sold are donated to locally connected organizations.

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):

St. Thomas uses the PaperCut print tracking system which emphasizes cost reduction and sustainability. In order to reduce paper usage, grayscale duplex printing (back-to-back) is the default on all campus print devices. Every faculty and staff member at St. Thomas who prints or makes a copy incurs a printing charge for their department. All students automatically receive a $32 Print Quota each semester for printing and copying on campus, the equivalent of about 400 grayscale prints. Students who exceed the print quota allotment are charged a per-page fee at the current printing rates.

After implementing the print management system, printing dropped by approximately 2 million pages over the first two years, equating to an annual savings of about $60,000.

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:

The university stopped printing paper versions of undergraduate class schedule at least 15 years ago and course catalogs with the 2016-2017 academic year. These materials are now available online.

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

Several collection receptacles are located throughout campus at end of each semester and communications delivered in various ways about materials accepted and locations of collection areas.

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:

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.