Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 61.14
Liaison Jeff Spoelstra
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western Michigan University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.85 / 8.00 Lu Deboef
Solid Waste Reduction
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 583.40 Tons 1,266.54 Tons
Materials composted 30.80 Tons 140.84 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 53.30 Tons 52.62 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,558.13 Tons 1,388.65 Tons
Total waste generated 2,225.63 Tons 2,848.65 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, 2017 June 30, 2018
Baseline Year July 1, 2011 June 30, 2012

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):

This is the most accurate data we have since better data collection processes were enacted.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 4,347 5,947
Number of employees resident on-site 0 15
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 18,413 21,486
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 2,845 2,850
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 2,876 650
Weighted campus users 14,873.25 19,255

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.15 Tons 0.15 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 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:

WMU Surplus reuses, sells, or donates all potentially usable materials.

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) :

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:

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:

WMU developed new signage based on a year-long research-based waste/recycling audit. Incorporated pictures and verbiage based on waste sorting items that were incorrectly recycled, and other items that should have been recycled, but were thrown into the landfill container.

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

Several waste audits have been conducted in academic buildings and kitchens.

Research-based audits identified opportunities for new signage and best placement of recycle/landfill clusters within buildings.

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

WMU has a 30% copier paper policy. In addition, the Green Cleaning Policy states that paper towel and toilet paper used by building custodial & support services will be 100% post consumer waste content recycled.

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

WMU has a large Surplus department for unwanted office equipment, athletic equipment, books and furniture. Unwanted items are sent to Surplus first for evaluation. The Surplus store is open to the public and will deliver large items to students on campus.

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):

Wood Hall has a share cabinet for students. Unwanted new paper and school supplies, used text books, folders, etc. are left for other students to take.

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):

WMU encourages double-side printing. Undergrads are limited to 500 pages/semester. Graduate students are limited to 750 pages/semester. No limits on faculty/staff printing, but the institution encourages and facilitates file sharing.

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:

Course catalogs and class schedules are available only on-line. The campus directory is available on-line, as well as in print. Several class courses use E-Learning to provide course material rather than printing.

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

WMU has had a move-in and move-out program for many years. At move-in, residents are requested to pack in reusable totes rather than cardboard boxes. A special program is set up to collect cardboard and polystyrene foam during move-in. For move-out, WMU has a Trash-to-Treasures program. Useable items are collected and donated to a local social service organization.

WMU has recently developed a separate webpage to address recycling and waste minimization during move-in/move-out.

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

WMU provides all new students with an EcoMug to reduce use of disposable cups. WMU Dining does not use disposable tableware for meals. Carryout containers are recyclable. Electronic storage of files is encouraged. We have a surplus operation for equipment, furniture and supplies.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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.