Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 63.30
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date March 19, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Virginia Tech
OP-18: Waste Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.52 / 3.00 Dennis Cochrane
Director, Office of Sustainability
Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure and Facilities
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Materials recycled, composted, reused, donated, re-sold, or otherwise diverted :
19,708.30 Tons

Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator :
3,744.01 Tons

A brief description of programs, policies, infrastructure investments, outreach efforts, and/or other factors that contributed to the diversion rate:

The Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment (VTCAC) Resolution point #8 states “Virginia Tech will adopt a goal to achieve a 35% recycling rate by 2012 and 50% by 2025.”

Using the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Environmental Quality formula, the university achieved a 36.5% recycling rate in calendar year 2009. This surpassed the 35% recycling rate goal three years ahead of schedule.

For calendar year 2010 the university achieved a 37.5% recycling rate. Simultaneously the municipal solid waste trend has been steadily downward from 4,764 tons in calendar year 2008, to 4,108 tons in calendar year 2009, and to 3,664 tons in calendar year 2010.

For calendar year 2011 the university continued an eighth year upward trend achieving a 40.14% recycling rate. The municipal solid waste had a slight upturn from 3,664 to 3744 tons. However, due to the phenomenal amount of ongoing construction projects, our total solid waste reused figure (6,444 tons) and total non-solid waste recycled figure (11,235 tons) were the highest in recent memory and both contributed to our waste reduction rate of just over 84%.

Preliminary results reveal that our Calendar Year 2012 recycling rate will exceed 2011.

In Calendar Year 2008 Virginia Tech established a partnership with Poplar Manor Enterprises, LLC and introduced a composting pilot program at our Southgate Food Processing Center. Results were very impressive. The following year composting was introduced at the Owens Hall Dining Facility and these two facilities composted 131 tons of food waste. During Calendar Year 2010 the university introduced composting at the Dietrick Dining Hall (the largest dining facility on campus), several other smaller dining venues, and at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. Over 325 and 406 tons of food waste was composted at Virginia Tech in Calendar Years 2010 and 2011, respectively. Without question, composting has been the key to Virginia Tech’s advancement with its recycling rates. Dining Services has the goal of expanding its composting program to include all 12 dining facilities in the future.

The Ytoss Program is a partnership with the YMCA at Virginia Tech and Virginia Tech Reycling. Held during student move-out at the end of the spring semester, this program has the goal of capturing no longer needed, but reusable, residence hall furniture, appliances, etc. that would have been gone in the trash and delivered to the local landfill. Ytoss 2011 captured 20,000 pounds of reusable products which were later resold during student move-in at the beginning of the following fall semester. The Ytoss 2012 event collected 27,000 pounds of reusable materials! For a full summary of the 2012 results, please see:

Revision 2 to University Policy 5505 “Campus Energy, Water, and Waste Reduction” was approved on February 28, 2011 which included a new section on waste reduction. The Facilities Services Department was tasked to develop a Comprehensive Waste Management Plan for Virginia Tech which was completed on July 15, 2011.

To view University Policy 5505 “Campus Energy, Water, and Waste Reduction” please see: http://www.policies.vt.edu/5505.pdf

To view the Comprehensive Waste Management Plan for Virginia Tech, please see:

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