Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.83
Liaison Parker Long
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Virginia Commonwealth University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.03 / 8.00 Joseph Costa
Sustainability Projects and Program Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 2,984.97 Tons 1,045.99 Tons
Materials composted 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 97.46 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 3,100.59 Tons 3,186.18 Tons
Total waste generated 6,183.02 Tons 4,232.17 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 Jan. 1, 2017 Dec. 31, 2017
Baseline Year July 1, 2007 June 30, 2008

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

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 5,857 4,800
Number of employees resident on-site 12 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 28,377 26,280
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 7,931 6,776
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1,325 3,577
Weighted campus users 27,704.50 23,309.25

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.22 Tons 0.18 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 No
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:

VCU's fashion Dept. is part of a textile recycling program with H&M.

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:

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:

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

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

VCU does not a specific policy in place that is designed strictly to prevent waste. VCU departments have recommendations in place to 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 the institution's 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 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):

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 the institution's initiatives to make materials (e.g. course catalogs, course schedules, and directories) available online by default rather than printing them:

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

A brief description of the institution's program 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 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.