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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.16
Liaison Juliana Goodlaw-Morris
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California State University, San Marcos
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.59 / 8.00 Lindsey Rowell
Energy Management & Utility 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 1,600 Tons 1,363 Tons
Materials composted 0 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 547 Tons 399 Tons
Total waste generated 2,147 Tons 1,762 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, 2014 June 30, 2015
Baseline Year July 1, 2013 June 30, 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):

The baseline was chosen as this is a plateau period for building additions.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 621 620
Number of employees resident on-site 3 3
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 9,716 8,938
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 1,253 1,118
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 8,382.75 7,697.75

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.26 Tons 0.23 Tons

Percentage reduction in total waste generated per weighted campus user from baseline (0-100):

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:

3 ring binders are disassembled to recycle the cardboard and metal parts.
VHS tapes & similar materials are disassembled into recyclable parts.
Cigarette butts are sent to TerraCycle, the tobacco is used for compost material and the filter is used to make plastic furniture.

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:

Efforts to minimize contamination are made almost daily before the material leaves campus. We have employees who sort through all of our recyclable material, to ensure that it is not contaminated.

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:

All campus community containers have signage on them to designate recycling or trash. Classroom containers also have an 8.5 x 11 poster outlining recyclable material posted above the containers. The campus holds an annual “Thank You for Recycling Day” event in October to thank the campus community for their recycling efforts and to introduce new students, staff and faculty to our program.

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

Periodic waste audits are randomly conducted throughout the campus on a weekly basis.

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

An environmentally preferable purchasing policy is in development.

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

Surplus items are sold through a public auction website. The campus is researching options to develop an office supply exchange program.

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 currently do not have a peer to peer exchange program. These items are typically collected through the year and then set up at the annual Thank You for Recycling Day event. We hope to develop an online office supply exchange program for this purpose.

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):

While there are no limits on consumption, the campus community is encouraged to only print when necessary and to print double sided whenever possible. The campus is also considering limiting student printing to 10 pages per day.

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:

Campus catalogs are available online. Staff is encouraged to print only when necessary.

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

The campus is investigating opportunity to partner with our waste hauler to reduce waste during move-in/move-out.

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

Metal and wiring recovered from construction projects is taken to a recycling yard.
E-waste is picked up by a local approved vendor.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The data inconsistency between OP-1, OP-19 and IC- 3 is due to the different performance years. For OP-1 and OP-19 we are using performance year 2014-2015, however for IC-3 we are using 2016-2017. This has to due with the availability of the data, hence the campus has grown in FTEs for students and employees.

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.