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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 50.89
Liaison Nicholas Kordesch
Submission Date Feb. 15, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

San Francisco State University
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.55 / 8.00 Nick Kordesch
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,996 Tons 1,631.90 Tons
Materials composted 899 Tons 577 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 15 Tons 15 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,510 Tons 1,614.39 Tons
Total waste generated 4,420 Tons 3,838.29 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 Jan. 1, 2014 Dec. 31, 2014
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2008 Dec. 1, 2008

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 year 2008 was selected because it was the first year SF State started tracking waste diversion in the current configuration. Significant changes to compost and recycling have followed in each consecutive year, allowing us to see results in our diversion rate.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 4,100 3,566
Number of employees resident on-site 130 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 500 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 24,499.40 29,718
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 3,227 3,650
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 2,582.50 0
Weighted campus users 20,415.43 25,917.50

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.22 Tons 0.15 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:

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:

SF State's custodial team does very minimal post-consumer sorting if they see something on the top of a bin that should be moved. Recology, the campus' waste hauler does quality control in the form of discarding contaminated loads and notifying the campus of related penalties.

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:

The Office of Sustainability has worked with SF State's senior Graphic Design class to design user-friendly waste signs for bins and events.

Signage is distributed throughout campus on bins and on bulletin boards.

The university posts reminders on social media about commonly misplaced items.

SF State is a regular participant in the annual Recyclemania competition with the goal of engaging students in improving diversion rates.

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

SF State conducted a thorough waste audit of the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference in 2015 to assess the efficacy of waste signage.

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

The campus is currently converting to a managed print service which would greatly reduce ewaste from personal printer disposal and printer cartridge waste.

Campus electronics purchasing is centrallized through the procurement office, ensuring that computers are replaced only when appropriate.

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

SF State has a printer toner return program through Office Max. Used campus toner supplies are collected in bulk and returned to the manufacturer.

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):

SF State's sustainability listserv is frequently used as a reuse clearing house for campus property. The students use a Facebook group to recirculate donated and for-sale items.

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):

SF State is currently undergoing a tranistion to a managed print system that operates on a cost per pages printed, which will provide monetary incentive to conserve print resources like paper and ink.

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:

The University does not publish a printed course catalog, schedule, or directory. These items have been transitioned to digital formats.

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

SF campus has a Sustainable Move Out program that results in nearly zero waste going to the landfill. Food items are donated to a local food bank, school supplies are donated to an education non-profit, and re-usable goods are collected by Goodwill. Cleaning supplies are also collected and reused.

The campus also engages new students in waste-minimization efforts before move in. When students receive their housing assignments, they receive a letter encouraging them to reduce waste by using reusable boxes, coordinating purchases with their future roommates, and learning what will be supplied by the university to avoid duplicate purchases.

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

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.