Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 77.18
Liaison Daimon Eklund
Submission Date Oct. 12, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Washington, Seattle
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.55 / 8.00 Claudia Frere-Anderson
UW Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 3,980 Tons 3,166 Tons
Materials composted 2,271 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 1,138 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 4,739 Tons 6,587 Tons
Total waste generated 12,128 Tons 9,753 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 July 1, 2017 June 30, 2018
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 June 30, 2005

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):

This baseline is the standard we have adopted throughout all of STARS and is used in our Climate Action Plan.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 8,250 4,894
Number of employees resident on-site 15 10
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 731 380
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 52,466 32,403
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 33,666 23,215
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1,464 269
Weighted campus users 66,298.25 43,117.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.18 Tons 0.23 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 No
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:

We include used furniture and laboratory equipment resold through our Surplus department in our waste diversion rate. Electronics, styrofoam, construction & demolition debris, and plastic film are also included.

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:

We are implementing consistent, clearly labeled infrastructure across our campus. We perform public outreach in small groups or large tabling events to discuss the UW Recycles Right message across campus.

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:

We participate in RecycleMania to compete against other PAC-12 schools for waste reduction, food recovery, and recycling categories. We hand out blue recycling bags during football game tailgating activities to encourage game day sustainability. We encourage and support students build new containers and signs, such as the SmartBins with videos showing how to sort items and how much is saved each time, or the 3D waste containers in the Student Union Building that show physical items on display rather than two dimensional signs.

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

In 2018, UW Recycling commissioned the third waste characterization study to:
--Examine changes in the composition and quantity of materials disposed by the University since the previous studies in 1989 and 2004.
--Evaluate the effectiveness of the waste reduction and recycling programs.
--Identify opportunities for increased material recovery to meet or exceed Seattle’s 70% recycling goal by 2020.
--The study focused on municipal solid waste, mixed recycling, and food waste disposed by the University main campus during January and February 2018.

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

The UW Climate Action Plan calls for education and outreach programs for faculty, staff and students in regard to using and purchasing goods, and printing and copying responsibly (Strategy 7.4.2), and outlines a purchasing policy for products made with post-consumer recycled content products (Strategy 7.4.3). The Paper Conservation Program supports these strategies.

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

All items purchased with university monies or given to the University that are no longer needed by a department, whether they are in working or non-working condition, must be transferred to UW Surplus for resale, recycling, or disposal (http://www.uwsurplus.com).
UW Surplus is a self-sustaining department. It receives no direct state funding and must generate revenue to cover all costs.

UW Surplus revenue is generated through sales of items transferred from departments. In fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015) UW Surplus resale efforts kept 984 tons of material out of the landfill.

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 Chemical Exchange program allows MyChem users to share unused chemical inventory to save money and reduce waste. The Chemical Exchange allows you to search for available chemicals or chemical products in MyChem inventories, and save money and reduce waste. You can flag chemicals in your own inventory to share with others at the University.

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):

All printing in computer labs and libraries must be purchased. Double-sided printing is the default setting on all contracted printers/copiers.

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:

All University of Washington course catalogs, schedules and directories are found online. This is also the case with most class materials that can be found on Catalyst pages.

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

UW Recycling’s annual Student Cleanup, Recycle and Moveout (SCRAM) event captures unwanted items from approximately 8,600 departing students who live in the residence halls. The goal of SCRAM is to divert reusable goods from the landfill and donate those items, such as food, books, clothing, household items, school supplies, and toiletries to charitable organizations. At the end of the academic year, a donation station is set up at each residence hall to encourage donation and reuse. Each station includes instructional signs and collection containers to separate items. There is also space for donating large items like furniture and home theater equipment. The program has been in place since 2004 and has helped keep nearly 240 tons of material out of the landfill. SCRAM tries to make moving out of the dorms a little easier. As we like to say, “Don’t just cram it…SCRAM it!”

Watch SCRAM feature story on UWTV! http://uwtv.org/series/uw360/watch/74YMYrdAsgY/

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

In 2009, the Washington State Legislature passed Substitute House Bill 2287, directing all state agencies, including the University, to purchase 100% recycled paper and to reduce paper consumption by 30%. A university-wide project team comprised of members of the Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma campuses developed the UW Committee on Paper Reduction to meet the following objectives:

 Transition to purchasing of 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Paper for copiers and printers.
 Increase recycling of all paper products at the University of Washington and 100% of all copy and print paper.
 Reduction of paper consumption by 30% beginning July 1, 2010

 In April 2015, the Odegaard Library (the undergraduate student library) had all their restrooms converted to hand dryers. Thereby reducing the amount of paper towel waste being generated from the building which received over 10,000 visitors per day.

Additionally, the UW’s Climate Action Plan calls for education and outreach programs for faculty staff and students in regard to using and purchasing goods, and printing and copying responsibly (Strategy 7.4.2), and outlines a purchasing policy for products made with post-consumer recycled content products (Strategy 7.4.3). The Paper Conservation Program supports these strategies.

The first initiative the committee implemented was getting departments to adopt online course evaluations. The Office of Educational Assessment (OEA) has provided course evaluation services to the University of Washington for several decades. Over the past 2.5 years, they have been hard at work developing a brand-new course evaluation (IASystem) that seamlessly integrates with the existing paper-based system while offering a smart, sustainable online option. OEA has released version 1.0 of the new integrated system in Autumn 2013 and is currently working to train departmental coordinators within academic departments at the UW Seattle on the use of the online interface. Read about how they did it in their Profile in Green. https://f2.washington.edu/ess/sites/default/files/Profile%20In%20Green%20OEA.pdf

Read information about the committee, the online course evaluation process, and paper reduction metrics here:

Finally, in August 2012, UW Executive Order 13, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability was approved by President Michael Young. This Order states the University will be a leader in implementing best practices and will demonstrate flexibility in adapting to new information, changing approaches, and emerging technologies. The scope of these efforts will encompass all university operations, including: the planning, design, construction, and performance monitoring of facilities; user behaviors and activities in areas such as commuting, travel, land use, and information technology; and the overall cycle of procurement, consumption, and disposal of commodities.

Read full text of Executive Order here: http://green.uw.edu/executive-order)

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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.