Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 55.60
Liaison Jane Stewart
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Washington and Lee University
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.07 / 8.00 Kimberly Hodge
Director of Sustainability Initiatives and Education
Student Affairs
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 59.60 Tons 41.70 Tons
Materials composted 56.69 Tons 10.30 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 728.11 Tons 935.37 Tons
Total waste generated 844.39 Tons 987.37 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, 2018 June 30, 2019
Baseline Period July 1, 2014 June 30, 2015

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

Baseline date was chosen based on when we had the most complete numbers. Data collection has stayed the same since this baseline, which will help with further STARS reporting.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 949 1,038
Number of employees resident on-site 58 36
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 2,220 2,259
Full-time equivalent of employees 918 892
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 2,605.25 2,631.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.32 Tons 0.38 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) Yes

A brief description of other materials the institution has recycled, composted, donated and/or re-sold:

We donate and sell books from our library when they are decommissioned for use. Donated books go to Better World Books and the Prison Book Project. Library newspapers are also donated to university departments and local businesses for use as packing material.

We collect old tennis balls and donate them through the Rally 2 Recycle program to RecycleBalls. Used athletic balls are also given to local schools and nonprofits.

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:

We use multi-stream recycling to minimize contamination. (The number reported above is an average of our plastic/aluminum contamination rate and our paper contamination rate. It does not include compost/food waste or landfill contamination.)

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

Sustainability interns run the "CRT Helpdesk" (compost, recycling, and trash) in the dining facilities to help people sort their waste after meals. We also run "trash tents" at all university-wide events on campus. Staff from the Office of Sustainability go to individual departments to work with faculty and staff on their office waste minimization. We will also do waste audits with office staff, if they are up for it.

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

We started performing waste audits in October 2019, and have targeted all of the major areas on campus. Through this, we have been able to determine problem areas (residence halls), and problem materials (glass and plastics 3-7.) Our overall contamination rate for each area is:
Landfill - 58.6% (most of this contamination is food waste)
Plastic and aluminum - 55.5% (most of this contamination is plastics 3-7, food waste, glass, and compostables... this one is just a mess)
Paper - 37.2% (contamination is generally not that bad in office areas; much of this contamination rate comes from residence areas)
Compost - 1.5% (super clean stream; we are really proud of this.) We have a Compost Operations Assistant who further helps contamination rates at the compost unit site.

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

The Waste Minimization Task Force currently is working on developing these. We will report this on our next STARS submission.

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

The Department of University Facilities holds frequent "Surplus Sales," offering items that the University no longer needs (ranging from office and dorm furniture to kitchen and grounds equipment) up for sale/auction. There are typically at least four such opportunities in a given year.

Unfortunately, these sales are only tracked in dollar amounts and not weights, so we could not accurately report these numbers above.

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

The University's "Campus Notices" is a daily email serving essentially as a community billboard for events and notices but also for people looking to buy/sell goods and services. Community members frequently list items they no longer need for free, simply to encourage re-use.

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

Double-sided printing is the default on all University printers and students and departments alike are charged for printing, with color ink at a higher price, encouraging awareness.

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

The University Course catalog, Student Handbook, Faculty/Staff Handbook and all University policies are published on-line and only provided in paper form by specific request.

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

A Habitat for Humanity van sets up on campus to pick up move-out waste every year. University Facilities also sets up additional cardboard recycling stations at these times.

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

Our compost operations are perhaps the most well-run of our recovery programs. We have 17 student Compost Crew members and a Compost Operations Assistant that work with the Office of Sustainability. We work closely with University Dining and Facilities to ensure that the system runs efficiently and effectively. Communication and training of staff involved in the system happens regularly.

Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.