Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 46.13
Liaison Traci Knabenshue
Submission Date March 3, 2021

STARS v2.2

West Virginia University
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.62 / 8.00 Stephanie Toothman
Conservation Specialist
Auxiliary and Business Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 834 Tons 1,419 Tons
Materials composted 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 308 Tons 152 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 3,223 Tons 2,424 Tons
Total waste generated 4,365 Tons 3,995 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, 2010 June 30, 2011

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

While recycling programs and initiatives were developed and implemented in the early 2000’s it wasn’t until the fiscal year of 2011 that those efforts were succinctly measured and reported. From that point on collecting recycling data has continually improved to where we are today.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 7,161 5,572
Number of employees resident on-site 25 25
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 28,702 28,901
Full-time equivalent of employees 5,809 5,952
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 2,577 2,945
Weighted campus users 25,747 25,330.25

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.17 Tons 0.16 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 No
Cooking oil No
Plant materials No
Animal bedding No
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 No
Tires No
Other (please specify below) No

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

In addition to the categories listed above, WVU collects and recycles used light bulbs to a third-party vendor. The university also collects unused/gently used office supplies like binders, paper, notebooks, pens/pencils, etc. to an internal program called 'The Rack' where students can go to pick up free school supplies and donated food.

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:

Annual meetings with campus custodians help determine where high levels of contamination consistently occur. Sampling of recyclables from specific buildings on campus have been audited periodically throughout the last several years as well. Both mechanisms help our team find the best solution to reduce contamination on campus.

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

In the fall of 2014, the WVU Operations team began transitioning buildings to the new single stream recycling model. At the same time, WVU implemented an empty-your-own-trash system making it each employee's responsibility to remove recyclables and waste from their office space and dispose of them at the nearest central waste station. Central waste stations include a large set of recycling and landfill bins and a bag dispenser for employees to utilize when re-lining their office bins. This new process created a positive recycling behavior change. Individuals became more mindful about the waste they generated with a new sense of responsibility choosing how they would ultimately dispose of it at the waste station. Plus the new system made it easier than ever to recycle correctly. This along with the increase of recyclable commodities that came with the new single stream method, helped us increase recycling collection by 60% within the first year of the new disposal procedure.

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

Since the early 2000's WVU has conducted several waste audits to better understand what types of waste are generated on campus. For example in 2012 and 2017 the university conducted identical dining hall waste audits. As a result from the first audit conducted a number of changes were implemented to WVU Dining’s programs. Our largest dining center, Café Evansdale, removed trays from serving lines in 2014. The Terrace Room, another dining hall located on campus began an experiment with reusable to-go containers in 2013. Major equipment upgrades to Café Evansdale took place in the summer of 2015, which helped the unit transition away from batch style cooking to a made-to-order model of service. This change in cooking style had a significant impact in reducing food waste.

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

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

Once retired WVU property becomes surplus, the item goes through a four-step process. First the item is offered internally to our main and regional campuses. If no interest is expressed, WVU will sell the item through online auction services. If the item still goes unclaimed a third attempt is made by offering the item to an approved non-profit agency partner of the WVU surplus donation program. The final step of the surplus process is to recycle or landfill the item if steps 1-3 were unsuccessful. WVU also has an office supply exchange through a program called The Rack. The Rack is a place on campus where anyone can drop off donated office supplies and non-perishable foods. Students may take items they want free of charge.

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

WVU's Office of Sustainability hosts an annual event on campus called the Give & Get Clothing Swap. This event educates students on wasteful practices that have emerged through the global fashion industry, and the importance of not only donating gently used items, but to also consider receiving used items to reduce waste. Just as the title of the event suggests, students are asked to bring articles of clothing to give and depending on how many pieces they bring, they will be allowed to get the same number of items in return.

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

WVU’s Information Technology Services (ITS) offers shared network printing options for departments. Establishing a central printing unit for employees to share eliminates the need for individual desktop printers. This ultimately reduces energy usage and individual ink cartridge waste. ITS does not charge departments for the hardware; they only pay for the prints and copies generated. This service also provides customers with more proactive machine servicing. Toner levels are actively monitored and switched out more efficiently ensuring that cartridges are only replaced when needed.

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

Mountaineer Marketplace- An eProcurement tool that allows employees to shop online and compare prices with the university’s competitive suppliers. Some suppliers on Mountaineer Marketplace offer a green product search filter to only show available products that are made from recycled material. Mountaineer Marketplace is typically used to purchase office supplies, lab supplies, computers, facilities equipment, etc. This eProcurement tool has the potential to save over 1 million sheets of paper annually.

MyExpenses- The University’s electronic expenses management system used for procurement card reconciliation and expense reimbursements.

MyTravel- The University’s travel booking tool to book flights, lodging, and rental cars for all university business travel.

Performance Management- An ongoing process utilized by management to strategically align employee’s goals and activities, aid employees in understanding how their work contributes to the organization and provide clear performance objectives, coaching, feedback and recognition for outstanding work. The complete performance review is conducted through an online submission process.

Employee contracts- Annual notice of appointment letters are sent to employees using an online format in an effort to simplify and modernize a consistent delivery approach across the University.

Online grant submission and management- All proposals are submitted online through the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Principle Investigator who is awarded grant funding manages the operations of the grant through an online format as well.

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

Student move-in cardboard recycling- Each year the Office of Sustainability recruits student volunteers to collect, flatten, and recycle cardboard at each residence hall during the scheduled days of student move-in. Volunteers are educated on what items are suitable to accept and discard things like plastic wrap and Styrofoam packaging into landfill containers.

Blue & Gold Mine Sale- Since 2005 a partnership between WVU and the United Way of Monongalia & Preston Counties have hosted an event called the Blue and Gold Mine Sale. This is an end-of-the-year student move-out sale that collects and sells approximately 25 tons of gently used donated items from students as they depart for summer break. The one-day sale gives residents of the community the opportunity to purchase usable items at a reasonable cost and all proceeds go the local United Way.

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

Throughout the year, WVU’s Roads & Grounds department collect natural debris like fallen branches from trees and leaves. The debris is chipped into finer pieces and used as mulch in landscape areas across campus.

Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts 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.