Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.31
Liaison Lisa Noriega
Submission Date Aug. 3, 2020

STARS v2.2

Yale University
IN-47: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Lindsay Crum
Chief Manager for Sustainability Operations & Strategic Data
Yale Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Pay As You Throw

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

In the spring of 2019, Yale launched a Pay As You Throw pilot program, the first of its kind among American institutions of higher education. From inception to development to implementation, the program involved stakeholders from throughout the university. Together, they worked to test whether and how behavior related to waste management could be incentivized based on pricing, reputation, or receipt of information.

The program tested the efficacy of three treatment types: Traditional Charge, Traditional Charge plus Information, and Reputation. In the Traditional Charge model, buildings received a monthly statement showing the current waste charge based on square footage compared with a hypothetical charge based on waste generated. The Traditional Charge plus Information buildings received the monthly statement as well as resources, signage, and programming. The Reputation treatment, piloted at residential colleges, incentivized buildings with a recycling “challenge” and highlighted community pride, not monetary savings. Each treatment group was compared against a control group.

Each of the three treatment groups saw a decrease in municipal solid waste and an increase in diversion rate. Recycling increased for both the Traditional Charge plus Information group and Reputation group, but decreased for the Traditional Charge group, showing that there is a correlation between access to information and positive behavior change.

Key findings showed that: a traditional PAYT scheme would require significant infrastructural changes; participants greatly valued having access to data, and resources about best practices; and participants were in need of support when it came to communicating to their stakeholders about the program.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the innovation 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.