Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.23
Liaison Jim Walker
Submission Date June 14, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Texas at Austin
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.86 / 8.00 Robert Moddrell
Resource Recovery Manager
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 2,051 Tons 2,177 Tons
Materials composted 1,175 Tons 860 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 438 Tons 1 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 5,664 Tons 4,353 Tons
Total waste generated 9,328 Tons 7,391 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility, including affirmation that materials are sorted prior to conversion to recover recyclables and compostable materials:

In recent years, the University of Texas at Austin has worked to increase the credibility of waste diversion numbers including better methodologies for estimating weights, getting accurate weights in areas that were previously estimated, and working to understand and then decrease contamination throughout campus. Areas including Athletics have significantly increased their diversion rates in very short periods of time, including increasing diversion from football games from 30% in 2016 to 50% in 2017. Resource Recovery has increased outreach and initaitives and is in the process of launching a number of programs aimed at increasing waste diversion throughout campus.


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 Sept. 1, 2014 Aug. 31, 2015

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 baseline is the reporting period for the last AASHE STARS submittal. Previous years do not account for much of the waste that is generated as those sources were not quantified previously.


Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 7,323 7,327
Number of employees resident on-site 18 16
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 46,453 45,609
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 14,256.73 12,849
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 32 78
Weighted campus users 47,343.55 45,620.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.20 Tons 0.16 Tons

Percentage reduction in total waste generated per weighted campus user from baseline:
0

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator by recycling, composting, donating or re-selling, performance year:
39.28

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator (including up to 10 percent attributable to post-recycling residual conversion):
39.28

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
Laboratory equipment Yes
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets Yes
Tires Yes
Other (please specify below) No

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 (e.g. materials that are actively diverted from the landfill or incinerator and refurbished/repurposed) :
1 Tons

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?:
Yes

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?:
No

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?:
No

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program (percentage, 0-100):
19

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:

The University's recycling vendor provides ongoing feedback regarding the quality and quantity of materials sent to the recycling facility. Methods used include visiting the tip floor and photographs of loads. Additionally, Resource Recovery employs a team of students that conduct waste audits throughout campus to determine the quanity and type of recycling contamination. This information informs Resource Recovery outreach and educational materials. New signage has been developed which in addition to telling users what can be recycled, also tells users specifically what not to recycle. Waste generated during home football games are hand sorted to ensure that there is no contamination.


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:

The University has significantly increased its outreach and education regarding zero waste, recycling, and composting. In residence halls and dining locations signs have been updated to reduce confusion. Dining has re-branded it's anti-food waste campaign, and conducts plate waste studies that includes an outreach component. Resource Recovery has updated all signage and outreach materials. They also employ a team of students to conduct outreach including during freshman orientation aimed at making zero waste accessible.


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

Resource Recovery employs a team of students that conduct waste audits throughout campus. They document material stream composition, diversion rates, common contaminates, etc. The entire Resource Recovery student internship program conducted a waste characterization study of the Pickle Research Campus in 2016 to determine waste stream and diversion rates.


A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste (e.g. by minimizing packaging and purchasing in bulk):

N/A


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

Surplus Property is required by state law. Any item purchased by the University must be sent to Surplus for redistribution to campus, donation, auction. In the warehouse there is a specific section for office supplies.


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):

Surplus Property is required by state law. Any item purchased by the University must be sent to Surplus for redistribution to campus, donation, auction. The warehouse is open every Friday for campus users to take anything they want for the office for free.


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):

Free printing is not available to most students. Students pay for UTprint services with Bevo Bucks.


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:

Course catalogs and schedules are available online by default. Timesheets are entered and processed online by default.

Many paper-based operations have been converted to electronic documents and processes. Printed class schedules and course catalogues are no longer available to students. Business and Financial Services has converted timesheets and pay action processes to electronic documents. Finally, purchase requests and work orders have been converted to majority electronic processes.


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

The Campus Environmental Center, a student organization, sponsored by the Office of Sustainability runs Trash to Treasure, a residence hall move out donation program. During exam period every May bins are placed in the lobbies of all residence halls on campus for donations. Items are collected, sorted, and either donated or resold the following year.


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

Wood from campus trees removal is repurposed to make furniture and diploma frames. Outdated vinyl banners are repurposed into reusable tote bags during outreach events and freshman orientation.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

Total full-time equivalent student enrollment - taken from the 17-18 Statistical Handbook for both performance year and baseline year

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.