Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.36
Liaison Laura Minchella
Submission Date July 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Sydney
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.31 / 8.00 Zoe Morrison
Strategy Advisor
Strategy Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 437.40 Tonnes 532.70 Tonnes
Materials composted 0 Tonnes 0 Tonnes
Materials donated or re-sold 18.50 Tonnes 0 Tonnes
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tonnes 0 Tonnes
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,116.50 Tonnes 1,903.20 Tonnes
Total waste generated 1,572.40 Tonnes 2,435.90 Tonnes

A brief description of the residual conversion facility:


Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Period July 1, 2019 June 30, 2020
Baseline Period July 1, 2018 June 30, 2019

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

The baseline was adopted as part of the baselining exercise for targets related to the University of Sydney Sustainability Strategy 2020. 2018/2019 was the most recent year without significant ecological and global health effects on campus operations.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,051 1,188
Number of employees resident on-site 10 10
Number of other individuals resident on-site 13 13
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 54,904.16 52,246
Full-time equivalent of employees 7,361.90 7,077.20
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 47,227.80 44,804.90

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 1,572.40 Tonnes 2,435.90 Tonnes

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 No
Cooking oil No
Plant materials No
Animal bedding No
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Electronics Yes
Laboratory equipment Yes
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste No
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets No
Tires No
Other (please specify below) Yes

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

Construction and demolition related waste

Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year:
22 Tonnes

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:

Recycling materials are manually sorted at site of our waste collection contractor

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives:

"Recycle Right behaviour change through activities, posters and staff news articles.
Information on our staff intranet site assisting staff with what can be recycled (all streams) and where they can drop it off. This includes a FAQ sheet.
Waste management and resource recovery guides are integrated in Building User Guides (BUGs) which are provided to all staff (and common copies for students) that decant into new buildings.
In 2018, the University engaged with 'Follow-me printing. Follow-me printing only prints when the user accesses the machine in person and swipes a staff card.

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

The University uses small adhoc waste audits conducted through events and campaigns. The last institutional-wide waste audit was 2010. It is currently undertaking it’s first University-wide bin audits in partnership with the New South Wales Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and their Bin Trim program. This was not complete at time of submission. (https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/recycling-and-reuse/business-government-recycling/bin-trim)

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


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

Faculties have small programs to 'swap' and pass on surplus stationary to other areas within the faculty and to students.

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

Staff have set up a staff Yammer classifieds group which has a very health subscription. The yammer group swaps, sells or donates items from home giving items a second chance rather than going to landfill. Faculty-based areas have now started to use this group to reuse and recycle other products too.
The University's furniture ‘Re-Use Kiosk’ resells redundant furniture to the staff and student community at low prices. We also provide a delivery facility. This was a primary waste reduction initiative after the university decanted from several buildings and the community were required to start working from home and required office equipment.
Boardroom tables find new life as dining tables!

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

In 2018, the University engaged with 'Follow-me printing' which included the removal or phasing out of desktop printers. This minimised cartridge waste and e-waste and it also led to significantly less printing. Follow-me printing is automatically defaulted to b/w double sided and only prints when the user accesses the machine in person and swipes a staff card. This has all but eliminated accidental and wasteful printing habits.

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

Most notable initiatives are:
At Student Info Day, where over 30,000 high school students come to see the university and talk to staff about what to study, instead of printing 16,000, 83 page prospectuses in coloured ink, the University created a digital prospectus and made it available before Info Day and by QR code on the day. We also significantly reduced 'showbags' and the printed material they contain.
The University's Quarterly alumni magazine, SAM, went digital in 2019. Printed copies are only available on request and are sent out in compostable packaging instead of paper non-recyclable envelopes.

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

Student residences come pre-furnished. This avoids the waste of furniture at the end of tenancy.

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


Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Part 1: There is a large difference in our baseline and the performance year figures due to the COVID effect on our campuses. The performance year June 19 - June 20 included an 8 week full lockdown (from March to June) of our campuses and then phased return of staff to the workplace at 25% occupancy. Essential workers remained onsite at campuses such as Camden and Narrabri during the lockdown to facilitate animal care.

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.