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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 Gold
Overall Score 65.69
Liaison John Pumilio
Submission Date July 23, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Colgate University
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.63 / 5.00 John Pumilio
Director of Sustainability
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 169.65 Tons 48.75 Tons
Materials composted 36.40 Tons 0 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 32.50 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 754.14 Tons 1,057 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 2,619 2,561
Number of residential employees 7 7
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 2,869 2,811
Full-time equivalent of employees 950 946
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 0 0

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2012 June 30, 2013
Baseline Year June 1, 2004 May 31, 2005

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

Our baseline was established during the 2004-5 fiscal year because that is the time when accurate records were first kept.


A brief description of any (non-food) waste audits employed by the institution:
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A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

We limit the minimum purchase order to $50 (up from $35). This reduces overall deliveries and packaging. We are working with our office supplier to right-size packaging on office supply orders.


A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

Colgate operates a Salvage program that takes and refurbishes all electronic devices (computers, televisions, printers, digital projectors, etc.) and furniture (desks, closets, tables, etc.) for reuse or recycle. http://www.colgate.edu/offices-and-services/purchasing/salvagesurplus

The university's Green Office Program also operates a free office swap program for all Colgate employees. http://www.colgate.edu/distinctly-colgate/sustainability/for-faculty-and-staff/green-office-program.

Students also started a 'Gate Swap program that serves as a reuse program for all Colgate community members. http://www.gateswap.com/


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

We have all of our course catalogs, schedules and directories online and no longer make hard copies of our directories.


A brief description of any limits on paper and ink consumption employed by the institution:

We installed print-release stations throughout Colgate's public printing areas. Students/employees must now release their print jobs before printing happens. This has saved many thousands of sheets of paper annually. We also default double-sided printing for all public printing stations. These measures and increased use of digital formats and public awareness about wasteful printing has resulted in nearly a 50 percent reduction in the amount of paper we are consuming as a university since 2009. In real numbers, this a over 2.5 million sheets of paper saved every year.


A brief description of any programs employed by the institution to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:

At the end of each academic year, COVE volunteers tour residence halls and apartments on campus to salvage unwanted and donated materials for local charitable organizations.

Volunteers collect, sort, and organize items for local non-profits to “shop” — at no cost — for items needed to cover their core functions and services.

Results
Last year, items included food, clothing, furniture, bedding, kitchen utensils, books, and toiletries. The 47 student, staff, and faculty volunteers combined to spend more than 470 hours collecting and sorting the items in Starr Hockey Rink for pickup by 30 non-profit organizations located throughout Central New York.

The estimated value of all salvaged items put into the hands of people who need them amounted to $23,000. The organizations we work with for this program report that the individuals they serve receive much-needed supplies to furnish transitional housing, provide warm clothing and bedding and educational materials, and stock the food pantry shelves for our neighbors.


A brief description of any other (non-food) waste minimization strategies employed by the institution:
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A brief description of any food waste audits employed by the institution:

We compost all pre-consumer food scraps on campus. Students routinely organize scrape the plate events and waste audits so we can track the amount of food waste generated on campus.


A brief description of any programs and/or practices to track and reduce pre-consumer food waste in the form of kitchen food waste, prep waste and spoilage:

We compost all pre-consumer food scraps on campus. We also use the LeanPath system to reduce overall food waste generated through the preparation and disposal of food in our kitchens.

Colgate University went trayless dining in 2012. This was the result of a student-led effort where Environmental Studies students researched the economic feasibility and the social and environmental impacts of going trayless in our main dining hall. Our student government association picked up on this and pushed it through with support from Colgate's Dining Services.


A brief description of programs and/or practices to track and reduce post-consumer food waste:

Students routinely organize scrape the plate events and waste audits so we can track the amount of food waste generated on campus.


A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable and/or third party certified compostable to-go containers for to-go food and beverage items (in conjunction with a composting program):

All our take-out locations utilize corn-based compostable packaging and flatware.


A brief description of the institution's provision of reusable service ware for “dine in” meals and reusable and/or third party certified compostable service ware for to-go meals (in conjunction with a composting program):

All our dinnerware is corn-based compostable flatware.


A brief description of any discounts offered to customers who use reusable containers (e.g. mugs) instead of disposable or compostable containers in to-go food service operations:

We offer beverage discounts at the Coop and the library café for those with reusable mugs.


A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

Landfill Waste:
Our landfill waste data goes back to 2007. A trendline gave us an estimate of 1,057 tons in 2005.

Recyclables:
Our recycling data is collected during the 10-week RecycleMania competition and goes back to 2009. A trendline gave us an estimate of 15,000 lbs of recyclables during the competition for 15,000. We extrapolated this for the year and came up with a total of 97,500 lbs (48.75 tons) in 2005.

We used the same approach in 2012 and extrapolated our RecycleMania data for the year. This resulted in 339,300 lbs (169.65 tons) of recyclables in 2012.

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.