Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 59.65
Liaison Mark Klapatch-Mathias
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Wisconsin-River Falls
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.40 / 5.00 Mark Klapatch
Sustainability and Custodial Supervisor
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 218.60 Tons 268.18 Tons
Materials composted 208.75 Tons 137 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 51.39 Tons 67.09 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 838.13 Tons 715.02 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 2,120 2,322
Number of residential employees 8.50 8.50
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 6,597.01 7,192.12
Full-time equivalent of employees 637 675
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 93.27 51.17

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Jan. 1, 2015 Dec. 31, 2015
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2013 Dec. 31, 2013

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

The waste generation baseline was adopted for the year of 2013 due to improved tracking of waste generation by UWRF. Previous year's data does not truly reflect the actual tonnages of waste produced.

A brief description of any (non-food) waste audits employed by the institution:

Each semester in the Environmental Sustainability class (ESM 220) students are asked to conduct a modified waste assessment in campus buildings and a short survey of campus-members about waste and recycling habits. Students choose a building on campus and visually inspect the trash and recycling containers throughout the building. They note the types of materials most commonly found in receptacles, the percentage of "contamination" in each container (i.e. Trash in the recycling containers and recycling in the trash containers), and the informational materials provided to guide users as they decide which container is most appropriate for their waste disposal.

A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

UWRF houses a surplus department and office supplies exchange program and provides those for use by other departments. Regular online auctions and monthly sales are provided to campus and the wider community comprising all collected items (including electronics). All items are offered at no charge to departments before being sold to the general public.

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

UWRF course registration is done online and the course catalog is available exclusively online. The campus directory is available online, although it is also provided in hardcopy format to faculty and staff by request.

A brief description of any limits on paper and ink consumption employed by the institution:

PaperCut is a print management software used on campus to manage student printing. PaperCut allows students to print from any computer, tablet, or phone connected to the internet as well as from university computer labs and kiosks. One of the primary aims of PaperCut is to reduce printing levels by changing a user's printing behavior. Implementing monitoring, quotas and charging are a good way of drawing a user's attention to their habits. The default setting on PaperCut printers is duplex printing.

A brief description of any programs employed by the institution to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:

Facilities provides recycling dumpsters for move-in and move-out days.

Residence Life also hosts "Don't Throw it, Donate It". The program runs the weekend before finals and provides a conduit for students to donate a large amount of food, clothes, furnishings, and other accessories to local charities instead of throwing it out.
The May 2015 totals include:

845 Pounds of non perishable food ; $1.73 Cash
*River Falls Community Food Pantry

130 Winter Coats
82 Winter Scarves
56 Pairs of Gloves
75 Winter Hats
1083 Women's Shirts
470 Pairs of Women's Pants
20 Fashion Scarves
658 Men's Shirts
284 Pairs of Men's Pants
184 Pairs of Shoes
41 Belts
*Treasures of the Heart and Second Chances in River Falls
**Note: Many clothing items not accepted by Treasures of the Heart/ Second Chances were donated to Caring and Sharing Hands in Minneapolis

31 Sunglasses
85 Purses/ Bags
6 Umbrellas
1 Fit Bit
Assorted Jewelry
*Treasures of the Heart and Second Chances in River Falls

2 DVD Players
1 Radio/CD Player
4 Computer Cables
2 Headphones
3 Power Strip/ Surge Protector
3 Cell Phones
Various Cell Phone Covers
5 Cell Phone Chargers
6 Extension Cords
5 Television Cables
1 Landline Telephone Cord
6 Multiplugs for electric outlets
1 iview digital converter box for television
1 Pair computer speakers

*Treasures of the Heart and Second Chances in River Falls

342 Books
2 Music CD's
4 Webroot Internet security software
*Treasures of the Heart and Second Chances in River Falls

56 Spiral Notebooks
86 Binders/ Binder Sheet Protectors
8 Packages of Loose Leaf Paper
24 Folders
4 White Envelopes (Box)
10 Notecard Packs
2 Pencil Cases
5 Pencil Sharpners
20 Erasers
305 Pencils/ Pens/ Highlighters/Markers
26 Backpacks
4 Calculators
4 Travel Drives
10 Scissors
10 Bottles of Elmer's Glue
2 Boxes of Paper Clips (Box of 100)
5 Packages of Construction Paper
2 Reams of printer paper
13 Plastic accordian file folers
4 Rulers
15 Packs of Post it Notes
*School District of River Falls

52 Coffee Cups
65 Drinking Cups
35 Plates
120 Bowls
4 Water Pitchers
43 Water Bottles/ Travel Coffee Mugs
167 Pieces of Silverware/ Kitchen Utensils
3 Silverware trays
2 Coffee Pots
2 Hot Water Pots
17 Pots/Pots with Lids
6 Toasters
12 Can Coolers
8 Ice Cube Trays
2 Strainers
1 Blender
3 Crock Pots
1 Cake Pan
1 Pizza Pan
2 Muffin Pans
6 Metal Tins
1 Cork Boards
8 White Boards
6 Garbage Cans
1 Brooms with Dustpan
15 Laundry Baskets
3 Storage organizers with drawers on wheels
35 Storage Containers
1 Full Length Mirror
1 Over the door clothing hook
5 Wicker baskets
2 Chairs
1 Alarm Clock
1 Landline Telephone
2 Humidifiers
1 Foot Spa
2 Tera Cotta Planters
Miscellanious Craft Supplies
1 Roll Clear Contact Paper
6 Jar Candles
10 Glass Vases
9 Blow Dryers
5 Curling Irons
2 Hair Straighteners
14 Shower Caddies
10 Laundry Bags
10 Fans
1340 Plastic Hangers
12 Hanging Closet Organizers
4 Cleaning Buckets
2 Clothes Irons
1 Vacuum Cleaner
89 Sheet Sets
120 Blankets/Quilts
158 Towels
25 Decorative Pillows
12 Rugs
30 Desk Lamps
2 Wall Pictures
10 Halloween Costumes
90 Children's Toys
3 boxes Various Holiday Decorations
2 Dish Racks
1 Table Lamp
1 Floor Lamps
2 Pair Bookends
2 Decorative String Lights
6 Board Games
1 Guitar
2 Sets of Pool Balls
3 Flashlights
4 Pair Safety Glasses
1 Jig Saw
1 Electric Drill and case of drill bits
1 Set Black and Decker multi use screwdriver set
*Treasures of the Heart and Second Chances River Falls

A brief description of any other (non-food) waste minimization strategies employed by the institution:

The waste stream in all campus buildings is sorted to separate recyclable products from waste.

The University Center and Rodli Hall LEED certified hand dryers are used to eliminate the waste of paper towels and the use of fossil fuels for its transportation. Additionally, we trialed a different style hand dryer in 2015 which led to a student research project. A biology student conducted experiments to see which type of hand dryers used on campus is the most effective in not spreading germs. The LEED certified hand dryer trialed in the Library has now become the campus standard and will be used for future buildings and remodels.

At least one water bottle filling station has been installed in each academic buildings and residence hall. The water bottle filling stations are provided to encourage customers to refill water bottles instead of disposing of plastic bottles.

A brief description of any food waste audits employed by the institution:

A brief description of any programs and/or practices to track and reduce pre-consumer food waste in the form of kitchen food waste, prep waste and spoilage:

A brief description of programs and/or practices to track and reduce post-consumer food waste:

UWRF has been trayless since August 2007. One of our more visible and significant sustainability initiatives is trayless dining. The primary goal of trayless dining is to significantly reduce food waste. Trayless is a national trend that has documented more than 40% reduction in food waste.

A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable and/or third party certified compostable to-go containers for to-go food and beverage items (in conjunction with a composting program):

The Freddy 2Go Program allows meal plan participants to take meals "to go" in a reusable 2Go container from Riverside Commons Monday through Friday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 2Go beverage bottles will be given out to all residence hall students at the beginning of the semester. Off campus meal plan participants may pick up a 2Go beverage bottle at the UC Information Desk while supplies last. By providing a non-disposable option, University Dining Services and Chartwells continue to pursue our commitment to improving our sustainability initiatives.

A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable service ware for “dine in” meals and reusable and/or third party certified compostable service ware for to-go meals (in conjunction with a composting program):

Riverside Commons is the primary dining facility for meal plan participants and offers continuous dining throughout the day. Riverside Commons offers reusable service ware for "dine in" meals.

A brief description of any discounts offered to customers who use reusable containers (e.g. mugs) instead of disposable or compostable containers in to-go food service operations:

UWRF has had a reusable mug program in place for 4 years. The program allows individuals with reusable mugs to purchase fountain and house products at a discount.

A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:

The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

For 2015, Bill Connolly, UWRF Farm Director, reports 340 yards of compost were sold, while an additional 375 yards of compost were put back onto the farm fields (a total of 715 cubic yards of compost). The compost consists mainly of wood shavings and cornstalk animal bedding as well as solid manure. The Farm employs windrow/aerobic composting. It was sold to the public at $33/yard (2015 price). Joe McIntosh reports also that 120 cubic yards of yard waste is collected annually from campus grounds as reported in our Annual Recycling report. Together, the information from the farm and from the grounds department is 835 cubic yards. Using a conversion chart with the assumption of 4 cubic yards/ton (clippings, leaves, and brush), it would equate to 208.75 tons of material composted in 2015.

At the Campus Farm ~70% of the Horse manure with sawdust bedding is reused at the Mann Valley Farm as bedding for the livestock enterprises. This decreases the amount of bedding the MVF needs to purchase. Eventually the bedding and manure is either field spread for crop nutrient uptake or composted and sold.

From Mark Klapatch:
Materials Recycled includes: Single Stream recyclables, batteries, scrap metal, computer and e-waste, pallets (40 pounds/unit), tires (20 pounds per unit), used oil filters (450 pounds per 55 gallon drum), appliances (Weight determined by using calculator found at http://www.lewis-mcchord.army.mil/jppso/Weight_Estimator.htm), pcb ballasts (8 pounds per unit). Due to the various sizes and styles as well as the large quantity, we do not include the weight of recycled light bulbs in this number. However, we did recycle 7,803 fluorescent light bulbs and 366 incandescent and HID light bulbs in 2015. We also do not include materials recycled that are reported in gallons due to the difficulties tracking the information and then finding a uniform conversion. In 2015, those items include photographic fixer (40 gallons), used oil (265 gallons), food grease (294,750 gallons), and veggie oil (895 gallons). We also do not include the beneficial reuse of the heating plant coal ash which was about 45 tons for 2015.

2013 Baseline year data for materials reused, donated, or sold was updated from the 2013 report to create a consistent process for data collection that will be used from now on. Mark Klapatch and Nate Beeman maintain an excel spreadsheet that will convert the data to tons consistently. We do not include items reissued back to campus as that would appear we are generating more items. Instead, we are just moving items around. In 2015, approximately 9,900 pounds worth of furniture were reused on campus rather than sold through surplus. We also do not include materials donated through the end of the year move out collection program in the residence halls as that is not campus generated items.

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.