Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Marian Brown
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Wells College
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.72 / 8.00 Marian Brown
Center for Sustainability and the Environment
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 18.63 Tons 4.44 Tons
Materials composted 22.93 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 0.50 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 81.21 Tons 66.03 Tons
Total waste generated 123.27 Tons 70.47 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 July 1, 2016 June 1, 2017
Baseline Year Dec. 31, 2015 Dec. 31, 2014

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):

2014 was the year in which phased in our comprehensive recycling program on campus; until then, we did not have a waste separation areas in all campus buildings nor did we have a commingled recycling roll-off until which we could deposit recyclables for separate hauling. Our waste hauler provided us with a 3-ton recycling credit early in 2014, but it is not clear how that figure was derived as it was not based upon actual collected weight of recyclables.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 480 495
Number of employees resident on-site 4 1
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 510 525
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 171 175
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 631.75 649

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.20 Tons 0.11 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:

Our Trash-2-Treaure move-out collections have collected excess clothing, school supplies, books, room furnishings, craft items, etc. We maintain two reuse areas on campus for these collected items: the Bargain Basement for some clothing, costumes, room furnishings, household items, crafts, etc.; and the RUMPUS Room for office and school supplies.

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) :
0.20 Tons

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:

We provide extensive instructional signage about proper recycling at each centralized recycling waste station in building common areas. We also provide instructional signage to all office holders and residence hall room occupants on proper recycling.

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:

We annually participate in RecycleMania to encourage increased recycling. We also provide compostable serviceware for key college events and special signage and instructions on proper separation of organics from recyclable items from trash. Proper recycling practices are included in our Green Office Challenge.

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

We have conducted several "trash sorts" to gauge the success of our recycling efforts. One was a public demonstration on the campus quad titled "Away", in which all the collected trash and recycling from the residence halls over a weekend was piled in one location. Clear trash bags and blue recycling bags were opened, sorted and separated, visually demonstrating the amount of "mis-cycling" happening. The second trash sort was a collection of one morning's trash/recycling pickup from office areas; the Introduction to Sustainability class conducted this sort in full view of passersby.

A brief description of the institution's procurement policies designed to prevent waste (e.g. by minimizing packaging and purchasing in bulk):

Our office supplies contract with Staples has a $50 minimum order limit, which encourages bulk packaging; Staples itself has corporate packaging minimization protocols. We purchase office papers in one bulk shipment and recycle all packaging. Information Technology works with its suppliers to bundle computer equipment purchases to reduce packaging waste; several of the manufacturers have take-back packaging programs including Toshiba, which takes back and recycles printer toner cartridges.

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

We maintain two reuse programs: the Bargain Basement is a reuse area, open to all members of the campus community, in which excess items (clothing, housewares, room furnishings, costumes, arts & crafts, trade books) can be placed for free exchange. The Bargain Basement is accessible 24/7.

The RUMPUS Room (ReUsable Materials, Paraphernalia, and Utilitarian Supplies) is a free exchange closet for office supplies. RUMPUS Room is accessible 24/7.

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):

IT places still-usable monitors, keyboards and mice in the Bargain Basement reuse area for members of the community to access. (CPUs and laptops are sent for e-waste recycling). The Bargain Basement reuse area offers free access 24/7 to clothing, costumes, housewares, room furnishings, personal care items, craft supplies, some books and media. The RUMPUS Room provides 24/7 access to excess office and school supplies.

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):

Students utilize the PaperCut system to print out documents; they have a set allotment of copies they can make; once that allotment is exceeded, they are charged. All networked printers have a duplex function to reduce the amount of printed paper.

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:

Most departmental forms are available online through the GLOBE intranet - many are fill-in-able PDFs that can be emailed when completed. The multifunction printers on campus have full scanning and email features, so FAXes can be sent and received as email attachments. Moodle, a courseware platform, is used by many faculty to house course syllabi and other course materials, including readings and assignments. Student work created electronically can be uploaded to Moodle for grading instead of requiring submission of hard copy papers.

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

In 2015, Wells conducted its first Trash2Treasure move-out collection, diverting at least 2/3s of a ton of textiles (clothing/bedding) and other reusable materials from landfill trash. Most items were donated to local reuse entities (King Ferry food pantry, thrift store, Finger Lakes ReUse). We re-ran the move-out collection during December, to divert additional material from students graduating early or studying abroad in the spring semester. We did not employ any mechanisms to actually capture weights of the diverted material; we will resolve that issue in spring 2016.

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

The Center for Sustainability director approached the Communications department about two modifications to campus letterhead papers and envelopes. In past, all departments and programs ordered custom-printed letterhead with their respective name and location; when that custom imprint information changed in any way, that letterhead stock became unusable. The Center proposed that, except for high-profile departments requiring imprinted letterhead (Advancement and the Office of the President), all other departments and programs utilize generic letterhead stock (also saving on the custom imprint costs!) and include their department information in the body of the document overprinted onto the letterhead. In addition, the Center director noted that the letterhead standard featured left and right margins at 1.5"; she recommended moving those margins out to 1" left/right, offering substantially more "white space" on each page for document text - this practice hopefully eliminated the need for a number of second pages. The new letterhead being purchased features those reduced margins.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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.