Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.78
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date Feb. 18, 2021

STARS v2.2

Virginia Tech
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.14 / 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 1,465 Tons 1,327 Tons
Materials composted 566 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 17 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 3,976 Tons 5,013 Tons
Total waste generated 6,024 Tons 6,340 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility:

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Period Jan. 1, 2019 Dec. 31, 2019
Baseline Period Jan. 1, 2005 Dec. 31, 2005

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

2005 is the first year that the Facilities Department prepared a formal recycle rate report using the DEQ format. We like to use this report as a benchmark to show how far we've come in the years since.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 9,236 8,978
Number of employees resident on-site 2 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 35,796 26,253.18
Full-time equivalent of employees 8,282 6,674.50
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1,168 259
Weighted campus users 34,492 26,746.01

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.17 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
Electronics 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) No

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:
12,893 Tons

Does the institution use single stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Does the institution use dual stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Does the institution use multi-stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program:

A brief description of any recycling quality control mechanisms employed:

Virginia Tech is one of four jurisdictional members of the the Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority (MRSWA). Essentially all of our typical recycling materials are sent to MRSWA for disposition. For Calendar Year 2019 the Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority reported Virginia Tech had a 7.53% contamination rate.

Recycling Material is transported to the Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority (MRSWA) in Christainsburg, Virginia, where it is weighted and inspected. Contaminated Recycling Material spotted is removed before the load is transported to Recycling & Disposal Solutions in Roanoke, Virginia.

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives:

Office of Sustainability Student Intern Program Teams advance Behavior Change, Single Stream Recycling Signage, Reusable-To-Go Containers in the Dining Facilities.

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

Office of Sustainability Student Intern Programs Food Team and Waste Team has conducted waste audit at select dining facilities.

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

Procurement Department's Surplus Property Office: https://www.procurement.vt.edu/surplusproperty.html

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:

A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption:

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

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

Course catalogs, course schedules, and directories are available online.

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

YToss Move Out Program is a partnership with the YMCA at Virginia Tech and the university. 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:

Hokie Stone “overburden” which is the industrial term for the discarded stone from the cutting of the Limestone-Dolomite stone from our locally owned and operated quarry in Blacksburg, Virginia. The overburden is reused as fill material.

Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

2021 Comprehensive Waste Management Plan: Waste management is an integral part of campus operations as Virginia Tech routinely handles 6,000 tons of materials from various waste streams each year. Those waste streams include: municipal solid waste (MSW), construction & demolition waste (C&D), recyclable materials (PRM), compostable materials, reusable materials, electronic waste, universal waste and hazardous waste. The Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure, and Facilities (DCPIF) is committed to managing these waste streams efficiently, effectively, and safely for the entire campus community. Please see Virginia Tech's Comprehensive Waste Management Plan for detailed information: https://www.facilities.vt.edu/content/dam/facilities_vt_edu/sustainability/waste-management-plans/CWMP%202020%20-%20January%207%202021%20805.pdf
More general information about waste as it relates to sustainability at Virginia Tech can be found here: https://www.facilities.vt.edu/sustainability/Waste.html
The Comprehensive Waste Management Plan was also featured in this VT News article: https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2021/02/sustainability-CWMP.html?utm_source=cmpgn_news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=vtUnirelNewsDailyCMP_020521-fs

CY19 Recycling Rate Report: https://reports.aashe.org/media/secure/89/8/768/7222/5-CY19-Recycling-Rate-Report.pdf

Sustainable Procurement Policy: https://www.procurement.vt.edu/content/dam/procurement_vt_edu/VT%20Sustainable%20Procurement%20Policy%20(Draft)%20April%202020.pdf

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.