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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 61.96
Liaison Briar Schoon
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Portland Community College
IN-26: Innovation C

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Briar Schoon
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities Management Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Mini-Max System

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:

The initiative is called the Mini-Max System, co-sponsored by the Sustainability Office and the Custodial Department that we are implementing college-wide. The Mini-Max trash bins are little black boxes that hang on the side of desk-side recycling bins (in place of what used to be normal desk-side trash bins).

How it works:

Your desk-side trash can is replaced with the Mini Max can. Place your landfill garbage into the Mini-Max, and all your recyclable materials into your normal desk-side recycling bin.

When they’re full, or when you want them emptied, take them to the closest centralized trash and recycling area and empty them. Custodians will continue to empty these larger units daily.

We are suggesting that people take their food and wet trash directly to their central bins, to avoid dirtying the Mini Max. This also helps reduce pest issues! No liners will be provided though reusable towels for cleaning will be available.

Once you have your Mini Max, the custodians will no longer empty your desk-side container; you will need to do it yourself.

Why we are doing this:

The program is intended to help meet PCC’s sustainability goals.
Studies suggest that when people handle their own waste, they are more mindful of it and ultimately produce less waste and/or recycle more.
In fact, a Recycling at Work study found that mini trash cans improved recycling by 20%!

It reduces plastic consumption.

Most trash cans hold plastic liners. District-wide there are approximately 1,400 desk-side trash cans, which means up to 7,000 plastic liners go to landfill each week.

Eliminating the desk-side trash cans and the need to purchase liners will divert nearly 15,000 pounds of plastic from the landfill alone, totaling almost fifteen metric tons of
CO2 annually (which is like taking four cars off the road for one year).

Custodians have more time to focus on other cleaning tasks.

Custodians have the responsibility of taking care of all the buildings on campus and cleaning up after more than 90,000 students, faculty and staff (on an annual basis).

Per campus, they spend 8-12 hours a day/40-60 hours a week emptying desk-side trash cans, most of which hold only a few items.

Centralized trash collection will cut this time significantly, allowing custodians to focus on other important work, such as cleaning restrooms and dining areas and tackling deep cleaning. No custodial positions will be eliminated as a result of this initiative.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Campus Engagement
Waste

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 programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.