Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.54
Liaison Jim Walker
Submission Date March 2, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Texas at Austin
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.05 / 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 2,148 Tons 2,177 Tons
Materials composted 976 Tons 860 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 430.06 Tons 1 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 4,834 Tons 4,353 Tons
Total waste generated 8,388.06 Tons 7,391 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility:

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 Period Sept. 1, 2018 Aug. 31, 2019
Baseline Period Sept. 1, 2014 Aug. 31, 2015

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

2020 submission, oldest FY of robust data. 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.


Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 7,400 7,327
Number of employees resident on-site 18 16
Number of other individuals resident on-site 211 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 47,296 45,609
Full-time equivalent of employees 12,189 12,849
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 32 78
Weighted campus users 46,655.25 45,620.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.18 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:
42.37

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator (including up to 10 percent attributable to post-recycling residual conversion):
42.37

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 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:

compost food-service packaging, recycle some batteries, recycle from some labs: nitrile gloves, film plastic, ice packs, styrofoam, lab glass; architecture school Materials Exchange, All books from libraries are donated and reused or recycled 100%, Surplus resells all manner of disused campus items including Athletics equipment


Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year:
50 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:
29

A brief description of any recycling quality control mechanisms employed:

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 quantity and type of recycling contamination. This information informs Resource Recovery outreach and educational materials. Waste generated during home football games is hand sorted to ensure that there is no contamination.


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

The University has significantly increased its outreach and education regarding zero waste, recycling, and composting. In classroom and office buildings, Resource Recovery is pairing trash and recycle bins, updating bin labels and posters, and working with Champions to provide deskside mini bins and breakroom composting. Resource Recovery's Zero Waste Workplace program provides educational presentations, compost trainings. Resource Recovery also has updated all signage and outreach materials. They also employs a team of students to conduct outreach including during freshman orientation aimed at making zero waste accessible. A Resource Recovery student team provides personalized consultations to staff and faculty event planners to provide correct disposal guidance for upcoming events, trains the planner on correct composting collection, and encourages the use of bin monitors to educate guests and correct any contamination. Dining has re-branded it's food anti-waste campaign, and conducts plate waste studies that includes an outreach component.


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. An additional focus is also being given to the compost stream at the building level in order to identify and provide specific corrective feedback


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

A green purchasing policy was incorporated into the university's Handbook of Business Procedures in 2012. The policy is broad and general providing total cost of ownership considerations in order that departments should select sustainable products whenever reasonably practical.


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. Items are made available for campus reuse first and then sold through a public store or online auction. The Office of Sustainability hosts an annual office supply swap to capture and exchange items.


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

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:

Free printing is not available to most students. Students pay for UTprint services with Bevo Bucks. Both the Green Labs and Green Office programs encourage double-sided printing as the default setting. Summer orientation no longer provides flyer packs.


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

Course catalogs and schedules are available online by default. Summer orientation schedules are provided via app. 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, pay action, and document signing processes to electronic documents. 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 tree removal is repurposed to make furniture and diploma frames. Landscape Services manages compost piles of leaf waste for reuse on campus.


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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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.