Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 51.95
Liaison Parker Long
Submission Date July 24, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Virginia Commonwealth University
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.36 / 5.00 Steve Heinitz
Recycling Manager
Physical Plant
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,480.54 Tons 1,045.99 Tons
Materials composted 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 81.46 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 2,905.84 Tons 3,186.18 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 5,857 4,800
Number of residential employees 12 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 28,715 26,280
Full-time equivalent of employees 7,848 6,776
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 1,444 3,577

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2013 June 30, 2014
Baseline Year July 1, 2007 June 30, 2008

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

The baseline was adopted to coincide with our baseline for VCU's GHG inventory.

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

The VCU contract with Virginia Waste Services requires that periodic waste audits are completed, typically 2X's a year. One in the fall semester and one in the spring semester. The waste audit involves a represatative from VCU-Office of Sustainability, Contract Admin. and Custodial Services with a representative from our contract (VWS) recyclng/waste hauler and our contract (SSC) housekeeping service to complete a visual inspection of the exterior VWS utilized by SSC for the placement of recyclable materials and waste. Our goal is to have contamination under 10% and verify that the recycling and waste in being placed in the proper containers by housekeeping and other maintenance staff.

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

VCU does not a specific policy in place that is designed strictly to prevent waste. VCU departments should purchase environmentally-friendly and recycled products when possible. Most formal solicitations require vendors to provide information on the firm’s sustainability initiatives and welcome recommendations that reduce environmental impact and create efficiencies.

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

The VCU Surplus Property Manager is responsible for evaluating University property once departments no longer have a use for. Ex. Chairs, Computers, Desks, miscellaneous office equipment and equipment used in labs for research. VCU has a Reuse Program in place where departments can receive used equipment at no cost by paying only a delivery fee for the trasportation and set-up. VCU also utilizes Gov-Deals an on-line marketing and sale system to sell excess property to the general public that it no needed

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

The course catalogs, course schedules, and directories are all available online.

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

There is no free printing program. Students have to pay to print or they can email files to themselves for free or save their files to a disk.

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

Reusable items, including clothing, shoes, furniture, microwaves, TV’s, are donated to Goodwill Industries who provides collection containers for student use at all the residence halls from May thru August as they move -out.

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

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

ARAMARK completes a audit of the amount of post consumer food discarded during Food week and makes a food donation based total weight discarded for the week to the Central Virginia Food Bank. Food Day is on October 24th each year.

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:

ARAMARK VCU's Dining Service provider offers 100% of meals served on campus that are trayless to reduce post-consumer 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):

ARAMARK provides third party certified compostable to-go containers for food items.
Since VCU does not operate a composting program the food waste is place in a (VWS)

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):

VCU utilizes reusable flatware and drink cups/mugs to minimize the use of disposable items.

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:

Dining Services contract with Starbucks provides a discount for the use if resuable mugs.

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:

VCU did not have reuse program in place in 2007 so data was recorded.

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.