Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.76
Liaison Mark Klapatch-Mathias
Submission Date Feb. 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Wisconsin-River Falls
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.36 / 8.00 Mark Klapatch
Sustainability and Custodial Supervisor
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 252.50 Tons 433.50 Tons
Materials composted 330.63 Tons 168.50 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 83.38 Tons 73.55 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 657.29 Tons 701.68 Tons
Total waste generated 1,323.80 Tons 1,377.23 Tons

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

Not Applicable

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 Jan. 1, 2014 Dec. 31, 2014

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 waste generation baseline was adopted for the year 2014 due to improved tracking of waste generation by UWRF. We had a change in waste haulers partway through the 2013 calendar year. Data from the previous hauler was based more on volume than weight. 2014 is the first full year we have actual weights.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,623 2,152
Number of employees resident on-site 10 4
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 6,926.51 7,071.11
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 640.85 756
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 113.87 307.85
Weighted campus users 6,248.37 6,178.45

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.21 Tons 0.22 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
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:

UWRF also recycles lead acid batteries, rechargeable batteries, dry cell batteries, waste oil, oil filters and absorbents, electronic waste, light bulbs, photographic fixer, and power plant fly and bottom ash.

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) :
5.08 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?:

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:

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:

UWRF employed a student intern during the spring 2016 semester who focused on waste minimization. He analyzed our current collection processes, what other campuses have done, and conducted a survey out to all UWRF faculty, staff, and students. He then collected that data and made proposals for how we could improve our refuse and recycling collections. The internship resulted in 2 pilot projects. One of them focused on a different bin system in offices which was implemented in the Wyman Education Building during the Fall 2016 semester. The other pilot project focused on classrooms and public areas and was piloted in all of South Hall and on 2nd and 3rd floors KFA. Both projects included new bin setups, labels on the containers, new signage for above the containers, and documentation that went out to faculty and staff in the affected areas explaining the changes. Both of these pilot projects resulted in increased recycling participation and less cross contamination. As additional funds became available, these projects were expanded to other areas of campus in 2017. As more funds become available, the programs will continue to expand.

UWRF also participates in the RecycleMania competition each year.

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

Waste audits occurred as part of the waste minimization internship during the spring 2016 semester. Additionally, 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. These audits have led to changes in bin locations and styles, signage improvements, and changes to when dumpsters are serviced.

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

A brief description of the institution's 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 platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse (e.g. of electronics, furnishings, books and other goods):

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):

PaperCut is a print management software used on campus to manage printing. PaperCut allows students and staff 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.

Over the course of summer 2016, the Division of Technology Services completed a campus printing upgrade project which was a university-wide project with set goals to increase overal effectiveness of printing campus wide, decrease duplicated equipment expenses, provide for predictable supported repair costs, and provide a tool for departments to manage their printing costs by leveraging higher-grade and efficient equipment with an ultimate goal of saving the university money.

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:

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

Facilities provides recycling dumpsters for move-in days. Sustainability staff and volunteers are stationed at all dumpsters to maximize recycling and reduce contamination.

Joan Mayen volunteers and oversees the "Don't Throw it, Donate It" program supported by the Office of Sustainability And Residence Life. The program runs the weekend before finals through student move out 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.

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

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.