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  • AASHE-STARS

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 68.76
Liaison Meghan Chapple
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Washington University
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.66 / 5.00 Ronda Chapman-Duer
Sustainability Project Facilitator
Division of Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,052 Tons 621.40 Tons
Materials composted 10.70 Tons 0 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 3,241.80 Tons 3,558.50 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 7,000 6,885
Number of residential employees 27 23
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 21,409 19,509
Full-time equivalent of employees 5,982.50 5,037
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 1,766 500

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2013 June 30, 2014
Baseline Year July 1, 2005 June 30, 2005

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

The 2005 baseline was pre-determined through the STARS 1.2 version, which was submitted by GW in 2014.


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

The first campus waste audits took place in 2010. It was a communication and education strategy used to engage students is their overall behaviors with regards to properly disposing of waste and recycling materials. This practice has become more refined and outcomes of the audits will be used to partner with local vendors who can help devise solutions to some of the waste problems we witness.


A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

GW's Office of Sustainability and Procurement Department have partnered to implement a sustainable paper procurement program which stipulates that all office print & copy paper procured by GW employees through "iBuy", GW's internal online purchasing system for most of the university's major purchase categories, must contain at least 30% recycled fiber content.


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

GW's Reuse Program continues to grow both internally and externally. We distribute office supplies throughout the university in an effort to replenish outdated materials, divert materials from landfills, and be fiscally sustainable.

Currently, the university is exploring the implementation of a campus-wide policy that would require all users to first obtain materials from the exchange program prior to procuring materials from an outside vendor.

Any materials not kept within the university are donated to local charities and non-profits as a means to support their missions and better the realities of those in need.


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

In general, all of our academic information is provided online. It is only when limited, special courses occur that we provide materials in print.


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

GW does not provide any free printing for students.


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

A well-established and award-winning program called Green Move-out is conducted each year. The objective is to collect a wide-variety of items (e.g., food, bedding, clothes) that students would otherwise leave behind in their residence hall rooms as waste and to transfer them off campus to many charities in an organized manner. The university attempts to track in a quantitative way what is collected through this program to contribute to the campus diversion rate.
2015 brings us into the 9th year of Green Move-Out, GW hopes to continue the legacy.


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

GW's Office of Sustainability and Procurement Department have partnered to implement a sustainable paper procurement policy which stipulates that all office print & copy paper procured by GW employees through "iBuy", GW's internal online purchasing system for most of the university's major purchase categories, must contain at least 30% recycled fiber content.

Our Sustainable Dining program encourages and provides durable dishware and linens as an alternative to disposable eating ware. The program also encourages the use of water filling stations rather that individual disposable water bottles at catered events.


A brief description of any food waste audits employed by the institution:

N/A


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:

GW provides pre-consumer compost in both of it's primary kitchens: Foggy Bottom's JStreet dining and Mount Vernon's Pelham Commons. The tracking is done primarily through billing received through our compost hauling contractor.


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

GW provides post-consumer composting opportunities as a standard practice at our Mt. Vernon Campus Pelham Commons. In addition, whenever practicable, we provide opportunities for post-consumer at a number of our larger events held on campus through our Dining Services program. The tracking is done through the billing received from our compost hauler that includes the weights and frequency of pick-up on a weekly basis and by event.


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):

For many of our events, such as student and staff community bar-b-ques, wellness events, or other outreach affairs, we provide 'eco-tainer' certified compostable plates and cups. The to-go dining ware, including eating ware, available in our dining halls are all also compostable. Many of these events include a composting option alongside recycling and waste.


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):

For many of our events, such as student and staff community wellness events, or other outreach affairs, we provide 'eco-tainer' certified compostable plates and cups. The to-go dining ware available in our dining halls are all also compostable ware. Many of these events include a composting option alongside recycling and waste.

In addition our Catering program encourages the use of durable dining and linen, as well as providing water through other means beyond disposable water bottles such as table pitcher or water dispensers.


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:

N/A


A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:

N/A


The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

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.