Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.94
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date Dec. 19, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Virginia Tech
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 8.00 Dennis Cochrane
Director, Office of Sustainability
Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure and Facilities
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,488 Tons 1,327 Tons
Materials composted 416 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 3,867 Tons 5,013 Tons
Total waste generated 5,771 Tons 6,340 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, 2016 Dec. 31, 2016
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2005 Dec. 31, 2005

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):

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 9,433 8,978
Number of employees resident on-site 2 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 33,223 26,253.18
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 7,678 6,674.50
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1,010 258.97
Weighted campus users 32,277 26,746.03

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.18 Tons 0.24 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 No
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Laboratory equipment No
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:

(Used Oil, Filters, Batteries, Construction Materials)

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:

Standard Design Single Stream Recycling Decals have been placed on all 8 cubic yard outdoor recycling containers, and on indoor collection containers. The Standard Design has been adopted by the four jurisdictional members of the Montgomery County Solid Waste Authority (MRSWA) which includes Virginia Tech, the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg, and Montgomery County. All recycling material is delivered to MRSWA where it is weighed and inspected for contamination by their staff. The recycling material is further transported to the Single Stream Recycling Transfer Station (Recycling & Disposal Solutions) in Roanoke, Virginia. This has resulted in a significant increase in our regional recycling rate reported to Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality and a significant decrease in our rejection rate.

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:

Standard Design Signage. The 18 students in the Office of Sustainability Intern Program have participated with a number of other student sustainability groups on campus to provide education and training through events and activities. During the 2016 fall semester we rolled out a new Tailgate Recycling Program which was well received and produced record recycling numbers.

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

Waste audit have been introduced in select Dining Services venues from time to time.

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:

The Procurement Department oversees our Surplus Property Program Office Supply Swap Program.

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):

The Procurement Department has introduced an Office Supply Exchange Program.

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):

Newman Library has a limited printing policy on their copying machines.

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:

University Directory and Course Catalogs & Schedules are online.

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

Cardboard recycling stations located at key offloading locations during student move in. The YMCA at Virginia Tech plans and implements our Ytoss? Program during student move-out which collects reusable items such as furniture, microwaves, fans and so forth for resale to incoming student in the following fall semester. The program has been in existence since 2007 and on average collects 10 tons of reusable material.

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

Students have recently established a clothing swap whereby items they no longer want can be swapped among themselves thus keeping clothing out of the waste containers.

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.