Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.39
Liaison Brian Liechti
Submission Date March 4, 2020

STARS v2.2

Warren Wilson College
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.35 / 8.00 Margo Flood
Sustainability Project Coordinator
Finance and Administration
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 63.37 Tons 149.70 Tons
Materials composted 67.87 Tons 69.95 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 58.23 Tons 19.93 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 58.17 Tons 150.96 Tons
Total waste generated 247.64 Tons 390.54 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 July 1, 2017 July 1, 2018
Baseline Period July 1, 2013 July 1, 2014

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

This baseline was adopted because it was our last recorded performance year. For the figures for "Weighted Campus Users," the figure for number of employees resident on-site was incorrectly listed in the last STARS filing in 2015 as "70." That is the total number of faculty, staff and their families who live on campus lands in rental and privately owned homes. Only five, though, were living in homes that were provided by the College, and for whom the College paid and tracked utility consumption.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 617 742
Number of employees resident on-site 5 5
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 695 916
Full-time equivalent of employees 192 232
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 820.75 1,047.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.30 Tons 0.37 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 Yes
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Electronics 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:

We also recycle miscellaneous recyclables (such as toothbrushes, razors, cereal bag liners, and granola bar wrappers) through the Terracycle program and make reusable goods available to the community (such as toiletries, books, and clothing) through our Free Store.

Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year:

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:

Each bag of trash is sorted by hand at the Recycling Center by the student Recycling Crew in order to reduce contamination and divert potentially recyclable waste from the landfill.

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

Warren Wilson has adopted the Zero Waste Challenge. Campuswide we have instituted practices, including signage in academic buildings and dorms to encourage recycling, and a re-use and no-waste ethic on campus reinforced by our Free Store and Dining Services. These are our goals: " Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health."

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

Garbology studies are conducted on a regular basis to gauge the contents of the waste produced on campus. Students sort through each bag of trash and record the contents and weights, to see if new signage, educational programming, or placement of bins is affecting the amount and type of waste.

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

In 2001, the campus community approved a Purchasing Pattern Language set of principles through its shared governance process. The principles stated in this document remain relevant to the institution, although they were developed nearly 20 years ago.

Purchasing Pattern Language

Warren Wilson College as an educational institution has a moral obligation to set a clear example for current and future generations. The College should demonstrate that the social and environmental commitment evidenced in its Mission Statement and its Environmental Commitment Statement are carried out in its purchasing policies. This portion of the Pattern Language document builds upon those commitments and provides a guide for responsible purchasing of goods and services. Purchasing decisions are made by many individuals, all of whom must take into account the impact on the environment as well as the economic impact when making buying choices. The purchasers should have an understanding of the advantages of environmentally friendly and socially sound purchasing practices. Socially and environmentally conscious purchasing practices take research and reflection, so it is also necessary to encourage purchasers to seek new and better materials and business relationships. Bringing the impact on the environment into purchasing decisions must become an attitude used by all those making these decisions.

The College is interested in buying materials that promote the health and sustainability of our biosphere. When making purchasing decisions the following principles should be incorporated:
•Reuse existing materials
•Purchase recycled or re-manufactured materials that have lower impact on the environment in their production, packaging, use, and, ultimately, their disposal than new materials
•Purchase locally provided materials and services where available, with preference given to locally owned and operated businesses
•Purchase long lived products made from renewable resources
•Avoid toxic materials where choices are available, e.g.; inks, paints high in volatile compounds, carpets high in noxious odors and chemicals, cleaning solutions containing hazardous or environmentally harmful components
•It is College policy that ENERGY STAR products will be purchased wherever the choice exists.(This is no longer policy, but a guiding principle to purchase the most energy efficient product whenever possible. 2018.)
Preference should be given to resource-efficient products, i.e., products that use the least or conserve the most energy, water, gas, and other nonrenewable or environmentally costly resources.
Gifts and donations should be subject to the same standards as purchased products.
Warren Wilson College understands the impact of doing business with companies with socially unethical business practices. Therefore, Warren Wilson College will seek to avoid purchasing from companies that have a history of discrimination based upon race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion or physical handicap or who have demonstrated unfair labor practices. Warren Wilson College will also seek to avoid purchases with companies that use child labor or do not provide a living wage.
All persons charged with making purchasing decisions should keep these principles in mind and seek assistance in choosing vendors who meet them.

A brief description of the institution's surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

All surplus furniture is collected, stored, and made available to staff, faculty, and students through the campus Recycling Center.

A brief description of the institution's platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse:

In our attempt to divert waste from the landfill, the Warren Wilson community established the Free Store in the 1990's. The Free Store is a fully functioning "re-use" store. The Free Store recovers reusable goods (such as toiletries, books, dishes, office and cleaning supplies, clothing, and decor).Students, faculty and staff drop off items they no longer want at the Free Store and the student Recycling Crew sorts them for re-use in the Free Store. If there is an abundance of goods, we donate the excess to a local homeless shelter and to a thrift store. The Free Store items are available to the campus community at no cost.

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

Warren Wilson uses Paper Cut to track everything that is printed on college- owned machines. The Print Shop and the IT departments evaluate usage and meet in the summer to continue to fine tune the College's printing procedure. All campus printers are set by default to two-sided printing. See the Environmental Dashboard attached to this report for an example of the tracking.

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

While we do not have a formal policy which states that all materials should be made available online instead of printing, we do strive to minimize the amount of paper materials we distribute. Course schedules are sent to students via e-mail each semester, and a website called Moodle is used for teachers to share readings with their classes online so that they won't have to print a copy for each individual student. Course catalogs and schedules are available online. Advancement often emails invitations to special events and campus publications like the alumni magazine are offered to readers digitally rather than by print.

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

The Free Store is especially useful during the end of the year move-out, when students tend to discard many of their possessions collected throughout the year. Instead of throwing away all these items, which would end up in a landfill, we try to divert that re-usable waste and put it back into use, while at the same time encouraging people to consume less. The College has a Move Out program where students can donate all unwanted items. The items are then collected, sorted, and made available to the community, charities, and then the public in an annual giveaway.

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

In addition to the Free Store and Move Out program, we generate revenue for the Recycling Crew's budget by making and selling up-cycled crafts. We also salvage and store usable wood for community and crew usage.

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

Data was provided for this report by the Print Shop Manager and the Recycling Manager.

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.