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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 67.47
Liaison Debbie Andres
Submission Date Aug. 26, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

San Jose State University
OP-23: Waste Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.48 / 3.00 Debbie Andres
Utilities & Sustainability Analyst
FD&O
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Materials diverted from the solid waste landfill or incinerator:
1,272 Tons

Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator :
266 Tons

A brief description of programs, policies, infrastructure investments, outreach efforts, and/or other factors that contributed to the diversion rate, including efforts made during the previous three years:

The following policies and statutes address state agency recycling and waste diversion and apply to SJSU:

- California State University Sustainability Policy requires campuses to reduce solid waste disposal rates by 50% by 2016, by 80% by 2020 and to move to zero waste.
- California State Assembly Bill (AB) 75 mandates that State Agencies divert at least 50% of waste generated from landfill.
- Executive Order W-7-91 requires California State agencies to buy recycled products and set up recycling programs.
- Public Contract Code (PCC) Sections 12164.5–12167.1 require the CIWMB to develop a recycling plan and implement recycling programs for the Legislature and all State-owned and leased buildings.
- PCC 12167.1 requires State agencies and institutions to report materials collected for recycling to the CIWMB (now CalRecycle).
- PRC 42560–42562 requires the state agencies to recycle high-grade white office.

Infrastructure: Moving & Recycling Services is part of Facilities Development & Operations(FD&O). The responsibilities of Moving & Recycling Services include coordinating all of the waste diversion and moving activities on SJSU has programs in place for the recycling of cardboard, mixed paper, scrap metal, scrap wood, beverage containers, plastics and white/brown goods.

SJSU recently converted to a single stream collection service. All waste is picked up by SJSU’s hauler, GreenWaste. All Yard waste and Food waste generated on campus is either composted at the hauler’s site or is used in a waste to energy facility.
All other waste is picked up by GreenWaste and taken to their MRF facility. At the MRF, recyclable and compostable items are removed from the trash and processed. The small amount of remaining waste that can’t be otherwise diverted is send to the landfill, or to a waste-to-energy facility.

The Erase Waste Campaign for the Dining Commons started in spring of 2014 with the goal of reducing food waste by 5%. The campaign educates meal plan holders about the goal of reducing food waste with educational events geared towards healthy eating and portion control and an Erase Waste Display in the Dinning Commons with food waste infographics and weekly food waste updates. Over the last year we surpassed our reduction goal and in the Spring 2015 semester alone, the campaign was successful with an 11% reduction rate.

Taste Don't Waste is a Dining Commons program that helps to reduce overall food waste by allowing meal plan holders to taste food at two of the dining stations before getting a full serving.

The Mug Life reusable mug campaign urges students and faculty to bring their reusable mugs for coffee, tea, and other beverages on campus. Our eateries offer a $0.50 discount for bringing a reusable mug.


A brief description of any food donation programs employed by the institution:

Spartan Shops Dining Services has a food donation program that donates food from campus eateries to local shelters and community centers. They recently began working with a company called Peninsula Food Runners, a non-profit organization that uses volunteers to pick up food donations and deliver them to local shelters and community Centers.

Spartan Shops also donates all day old pastries, bagels, and bread to two on-campus programs for students. The Peer Connections Breakfast Club and the Student Wellness Center's afternoon Food For Thought offer these food items to students facing food insecurity free of charge.


A brief description of any pre-consumer food waste composting program employed by the institution:

Spartan Shops Dining Services collects pre-consumer food waste from its various food preparation locations. This pre-consumer food waste is then composted in the Associated Students Community Garden on campus. The garden is a part of the SJSU Student Hunger Committee which aims to address food insecurity within the campus community in efforts to empower SJSU students to succeed academically.


A brief description of any post-consumer food waste composting program employed by the institution:

Spartan Shops Dining Services collects post-consumer food waste from the Dining Commons and deposits in containers serviced by GreenWaste Recovery, Inc. composting program. All other food waste on campus is collected in single-stream bins and sorted off-site by GreenWaste Recovery where it is then composted in a commercial composting faciltiy.


Does the institution include the following materials in its waste diversion efforts?:
Yes or No
Paper, plastics, glass, metals, and other recyclable containers Yes
Food donations Yes
Food for animals No
Food composting Yes
Cooking oil Yes
Plant materials composting Yes
Animal bedding composting Yes
Batteries Yes
Light bulbs Yes
Toner/ink-jet cartridges Yes
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Laboratory equipment Yes
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets Yes
Motor oil Yes
Tires Yes

Other materials that the institution includes in its waste diversion efforts:

100% of our used cooking oil goes to off-campus Biodiesel production.

Surplus Property consists of university-owned items that are no longer needed by a department, including vehicles, computers, furniture, and office equipment. Items are then reused in the following ways: making property available to other departments on campus, donating items to local non-profit agencies and schools, sending equipment to a public auction under contract with the university, posting items on the Public Surplus web site, and dismantling property into separate components for recycling.

Construction debris is sorted and achieves a diversion rate between 75-90%.


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.