Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.22
Liaison Jay Price
Submission Date March 3, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Tennessee at Knoxville
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.54 / 8.00 Daniel Covington
Data Analyst and Office Administrator
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 895.97 Tons 1,852.23 Tons
Materials composted 1,324.48 Tons 1,142.90 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 18.20 Tons 28.67 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 4,542.76 Tons 8,931 Tons
Total waste generated 6,781.41 Tons 11,954.80 Tons

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, 2021 June 30, 2022
Baseline Period July 1, 2014 June 30, 2015

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

N/A, the end date of the baseline year is after 2004.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 8,057 7,213
Number of employees resident on-site 20 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 581
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 28,329 25,263
Full-time equivalent of employees 7,089 7,333
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 2,689 673
Weighted campus users 26,566 26,326.50

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.26 Tons 0.45 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 No
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:

The Office of Sustainability Free Store recovers clothing and unused non-perishable food from student move-out. Depending on the condition, the used clothing is donated back to students through Free Store Pop-Ups or to Goodwill to be recycled into rags.

The recycling center takes plastic film like plastic wrap and one use grocery bags and send them to be recycled. It also recycles all types of light bulbs.

Our campus also recycles concrete and rebar from demolished buildings.

Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year:
18.20 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:

Quality Control Mechanisms:
Procedural – event request forms to provide recycling, landfill, and/or compost bins
Follow-Up - Staff assist in organizing the materials to reduce contamination.
Six Sigma – we are constantly evaluating current practices to more effective and efficient methods.

Additional mechanisms:
Lids on all the cardboard dumpsters
Lids with slots on all the paper recycling bins in buildings
Lids with round holes on all the cans/plastic recycling bins in buildings
Labels on all bins
Signage for Waste Stations to indicate what goes where

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

The Office of Sustainability is implementing My Tiny Trash in offices to promote waste awareness, encourage environmental stewardship, increase recycling rates, and decrease landfill waste on campus. We’re achieving this by swapping traditional desk-side trash cans with three-quart Tiny Trash containers attached to a larger recycling bin.

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

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:

UT Sustainability works in cooperation with UT Surplus to redistribute items in working condition that are still usable. These items may be put up for public or private auction or sold to offices within UTK or UTIA for a reduced cost.


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

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

Students must pay for all printing done on campus. The default settings in the labs is to print duplex with black and white text or images on both sides of the paper. Color printing is more expensive than black and white print jobs.

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

Current and archived course catalogs are readily available online via the online catalog management system. Students who desire a paper copy must visit the admissions office to request one.
The directory is available online at https://directory.utk.edu/.

Course material can be published for students on Canvas, reducing the need to print syllabi, assignments, or other classroom materials.

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

The Office of Sustainability recycling operations team manages residence hall move-in waste and collects recyclables, mostly cardboard, from each residence hall. Staff, AmeriCorps members, and student workers with the Office of Sustainability are present over move-in weekend to direct new students and their parents on where to place their waste to maximize diversion.

The Office of Sustainability's Social Impact Coordinator manages residence hall move-out each year, collecting unwanted clothes, household items, cleaning supplies, and food items from residence halls move-out for the Free Store on campus. Food items are donated to Smokey's Pantry, the on-campus food pantry that serves students, faculty, staff, and community members.


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

The Office of Sustainability recovers uneaten food left over and gives it to the Culinary Institute, which cooks meals using this material. These meals are then donated to the Big Orange Pantry.

Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support 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.