Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.03
Liaison Caroline Bruno
Submission Date May 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Williams College
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.70 / 8.00 Caroline Bruno
Sustainability Coordinator
Zilkha Center
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 161.87 Tons 193 Tons
Materials composted 63.56 Tons 0 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 733.50 Tons 696 Tons
Total waste generated 958.93 Tons 889 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 Jan. 1, 2018 Dec. 31, 2018
Baseline Year July 1, 2009 June 30, 2010

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 baseline was set because it was the first time we completed STARS and therefore the first time we collected this comprehensive waste data.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 1,966 1,984
Number of employees resident on-site 106 124
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 70 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 2,073 2,088
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 1,125 1,050
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 2,986.50 2,880.50

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.32 Tons 0.31 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:

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:

The college uses color coded recycling and trash containers with additional signage. Also, the custodial staff will occasionally remove recyclables from the trash stream when it permits.

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:

Signage in the dining hall with numbers that tell the students how much food is wasted each year to motivate people to compost and only grab food they will eat.

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

We perform periodic waste audits - most recently in March 2019 on outdoor trash and recycling bins. We were looking to see whether areas where there were a trash and recycling bin next to each other may increase diversion rates of recyclable materials and what we can do to improve recycling outdoors.

We also hold monthly Zero Waste Working Group meetings where dining, facilities, faculty, staff and students talk about waste, procurement and contamination and problem solve in order to improve.

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

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

We do not have a formal office supplies exchange, but Williams does reuse manilla folders, binders, and other supplies through each department. Old office furniture such as filing cabinets are kept in storage for new employees to reuse.

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):

We have a program at the end of the year during move out called "Give it Up!" The program enables students to donate unwanted items to local charities and non-profits. Storage pods are located throughout campus around dorms. Unwanted items are placed in the pods and the charities pick up the donations after all of the students have moved out. The pods will store everything from unwanted electronics to sports equipment. Clothing exchanges are also held multiple times throughout the year. Two online platforms exist for exchanges - Switchboard and WSO - that can facilitate material reuse.

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 are given a quota of free printing for each semester. The quota applies at all computer labs, libraries, and networked printers. If a student prints more than their quota, they have to pay for printing beyond it. The print quota system has decreased student printing by 25-30%.

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:

The course catalog, class hours, and faculty/staff directories are all available on-line by default.

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

Williams works with several local non-profit organizations on the "Give it Up" end of the year donation campaign. Large storage pods are deployed around campus during the several weeks when students are moving out. Students are encouraged to donate clothing, furniture, food, school supplies, books, and household goods in the pods. The items are retrieved by local non-profits, who re-sell the items at a large fall tag sale and clothing sale.

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

Williams collaborates with a local church for a giant tag sale. Lamps, rugs, refrigerators, appliances, couches, and random trinkets are collected to keep used goods circulating in the community and raise money for the church. It’s the church’s largest fundraiser of the year. It is held at the beginning of the school year for students to buy items for their dorm.

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.