Log In

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 66.74
Liaison joni newcomer
Submission Date Jan. 26, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

New Mexico State University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 7.84 / 8.00 joni newcomer
Mgr. Env. Policy and Sustainability
Facilities and 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 450 Tons 655 Tons
Materials composted 1 Tons 800 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 25.50 Tons 110 Tons
Total waste generated 476.50 Tons 1,565 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility, including affirmation that materials are sorted prior to conversion to recover recyclables and compostable materials:

We have a facility that houses Aggie Recycling. It houses a sorting machine that bales paper and cardboard, a can crusher that produces 15" X 15" cubes of approximately 600 cans, a plastic bottle shredder, and space for recycling Blue Brutes as they come in and out of the facility, the main recycling office, lockers and restrooms for the workers. Materials are sorted and baled here before they are loaded on a semi truck to be sold at several different recycling facilities. We sell our paper, cardboard, and shredded plastics to Master Fibers in El Paso, TX; aluminum cans are sold to USA Can Recycling in Las Cruces, NM; scrap metal is sold to Las Cruces Recycling and West Side Recycling in Las Cruces, NM.

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2015 June 30, 2016
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2011 Dec. 31, 2011

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):

Aggie Recycling hired a full time recycling manager in 2009. One of his main goals was to increase the diversion rate of waste on campus. The plan included a new contract with a waste contractor as well as a recycling contractor. In 2009 our diversion rate was 64.02% and in 2015 our diversion rate was 82.96%!

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 3,892 4,708
Number of employees resident on-site 18 18
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 131 202
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 18,255 20,963
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 3,514 4,062
+ Date Revised: Aug. 10, 2017
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1,271 1,427
Weighted campus users 16,482 19,082

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.03 Tons 0.08 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:

Everything we recycle is covered above.

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:

Recycling collection points are set up where materials are source separated, when they arrive at our campus recycling facility the materials are also monitored by the recycling collection staff to minimize contamination.

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:

We have been in the top five of the RecycleMania competition for the last six years. We market our RecycleMania competition quite actively during February and March of the competition. We also have recycling centers in each building (with "Blue Brute" bins for four different materials) as well as four Big Belly Solar trash/recycling on our outdoor International Mall. Each person has a small under-desk single stream recycling container that our recycling crew empties along with the trash pick-up. Our Environmental Education Center is another place to learn more information about waste reduction and recycling. We do "tabling" quite frequently on campus to educate about recycling and waste reduction.

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

We utilize a solid waste collection company that collects and audits our waste that is generated on campus. Twice a year we meet with the solid waste collection company and identify areas for improvement. Our diversion rate has increased significantly over the last 8 years since Aggie Recycling kicked into gear in 2009.

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

Sustainable Products purchasing requirements from our Sustainable Purchasing Guidelines at https://af.nmsu.edu/bpm/bpm-4/#46

When determining whether a product is sustainable, the following will be considered:

bio-based; biodegradable; carcinogen-free; chlorofluorocarbon free; “heavy material” free (i.e. no lead, mercury, cadmium); made from renewable materials; compostable; low toxicity; recycled content; rechargeable (batteries and other items); reduced packaging; reduced greenhouse gas emissions; energy, resource and water efficient.

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

We have an internal list serve ("NMSU Postings") for redistribution of usable office supplies. It is a very successful program where supplies and equipment and furnishings are reused. NMSU also has a Properties Department separate from the list serve that accomplishes the same redistribution.

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):

Our mascot is Pistol Pete - our re-use program for supplies, equipment and furnishings is called "Re-Pete" and is a very successful program!

RePete is NMSU’s property and supplies marketplace to facilitate the exchange of useful property and supplies. If anyone on campus has unused university-owned equipment or supplies in their department that could benefit some other NMSU department, they can make it available by listing it on RePete.

If a person or department needs equipment or supplies but lack the funds to purchase them new - RePete might just the place to find what they are seeking.

By transferring items to other units, we give them a second life and contribute to NMSU’s sustainability effort by recycling among NMSU departments; collectively we reduce the strain on departmental budgets.


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 certain amount of sheets of printing a semester. When they go over this amount they are charged for each additional sheet. We have computer labs and classroom labs that are monitored and the students are taught by the Lab Assistant to be careful with their printing and encouraged to save documents as PDF's instead of printing.

"Aggie Print" stations are new printing stations around campus that are set to double-sided printing and stocked with recycled paper.

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:

It is not a default, but the course catalogue and class schedule are online. When signing up for classes it is all done online with no need to print a catalogue. We do not print a student or faculty/staff directory - these are all online.
Phonebook: https://myaccount.nmsu.edu/phonebook/index.php

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

NMSU Housing has recognized the amount of solid waste that is generated during high times of transition for students as they move into and then depart the on-campus housing system, This affects not only the residence halls but the apartments. A series of efforts are made to reduce waste. Additional staff and containers are placed and signage created to ask students and their families to break down and recycle cardboard. This generates as much as 6 to 8 tons of cardboard in a three to four day period for recycling. Additionally, the Housing office coordinates student roommates during the summer and giving each roommate the ability to contact each other to coordinate who is bringing what to their room. During closing in May, students are encouraged to donate items they are not needing to take home and can do without. Clothing, non perishable food, unopened toiletries and household items are collected at central collecting points in our housing facilities and donated to local non profit agencies.

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

We collect concrete and asphalt (clean fill) and give it to the city for reuse verses land-filling the material.

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.