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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 68.58
Liaison Mary Ellen Mallia
Submission Date Jan. 15, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University at Albany
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.64 / 5.00 Mary Ellen Mallia
Director of Environmental Sustainability
Finance and Business
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 843 Tons 238 Tons
Materials composted 300 Tons 0 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 10 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,967 Tons 2,623 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 7,500 7,160
Number of residential employees 43 43
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 15,858 15,875
Full-time equivalent of employees 4,075 3,649
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 0 0

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, 2004 June 30, 2005

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

The baseline is in line with the year prior to any sustainability related initiatives on campus and also complies with the baseline year set in the Copenhagen Accord.


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

Students employed by the institution conducted a waste audit of the University Library in the spring and fall of 2015. The data was gathered throughout the semesters. The spring audit helped to determine the approximated waste diversion rate along with the recycling to waste bin ratio. Recommendations were made for infrastructure enhancements for the fall. The fall data is currently being analyzed. It will be used to determine if the new infrastructure has been effective in increasing the diversion rate.


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

Executive Order 18 prohibits the use of state funds to purchase bottled water. The University at Albany chose to mandate this policy for its campus. A memo was sent out from the controller's office to eliminate the practice of supporting group water coolers and purchasing bottled water for state events. http://www.albany.edu/institutionalservices/media/memo20061012.pdf


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

The university purchasing department oversees the Office of Equipment Management. They maintain a list of surplus items available. http://web.albany.edu/its/webgroup/equipment/surplus.asp
Office supplies are exchanged on an informal basis.


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

The University at Albany encourages faculty to utilize Blackboard Online Learning System or their own webpages to store class materials, documents and syllabi for students to access online, instead of printing out hard copies. Course catalogs, directories and the library's online reserve system are also on the Albany webpage.


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

The University at Albany's Library services and Graduate Student Association have set their printers to automatically print double-sided. Both facilities also restrict free printing and users must pay for printing.


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

Each May, Office of Environmental Sustainability sponsors the move out program, "Give N Go". Large PODS are placed at each quad on campus and students are encouraged to donate unwanted household items, electronics and appliances. These items are donated to a local charity.


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

The Office of Environmental Sustainability has distributed bins around campus, both academic and residential areas, for students, faculty and staff to recycle ink jets and toners, and for batteries. We also collect unwanted electronics. Ink jets and toners are recycled through Fundraising Factory, batteries are given to Environmental Health and Safety and electronics are sent to Regional Computer Recycling & Recovery (RCR&R).


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

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:

The dining staff measure the pre-consumer food waste as part of Sodexo's Lean Path initiative.


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

The dining services have reduced the size of plates and cups to reduce waste. Trays were eliminated over 5 years ago. Staff also controls portions by serving students themselves. Pre and post consumer food waste is picked up by an organics waste hauler to a composting facility. The hauler provides regular reports on the amount of food waste.
http://www.albany.edu/uas/composting.php


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):
---

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):

Napkins in the dining halls are compostable. All dishware used in the dining halls are reusable. Condiment packets have been replaced with bulk containers. Water bottles have been replaced with water carafes.


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:

The campus center gives discounts for students, faculty and staff to tea and coffee when they bring their own reusable mugs.


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

Dining services will donate left over food and supplies to area food pantries at the end of each semester and prior to week long breaks.


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.