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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 Gold
Overall Score 69.67
Liaison Trina Innes
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
OP-19: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.79 / 8.00 Ray Dumouchel
Associate Director, Buildings and Grounds Services
Operations and Maintenance
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,262.26 Tons 950.19 Tons
Materials composted 496.18 Tons 0 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 11.67 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 2,554.44 Tons 3,402.28 Tons
Total waste generated 4,324.54 Tons 4,352.47 Tons

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

Although not the case at the time of this submission, once it is fully operational, the City of Edmonton Enerkem facility will process otherwise landfill-bound materials for the university: https://www.edmonton.ca/programs_services/garbage_waste/biofuels-facility.aspx


Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Jan. 1, 2016 Dec. 31, 2016
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2005 Dec. 31, 2005

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):
---

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 4,678 3,952
Number of employees resident on-site 14 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 519 615
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 34,693 32,125
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 9,604 8,147
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 34,914.75 31,807

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.12 Tons 0.14 Tons

Percentage reduction in total waste generated per weighted campus user from baseline (0-100):
9.49

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator by recycling, composting, donating or re-selling, performance year:
40.93

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator (including up to 10 percent attributable to post-recycling residual conversion):
40.93

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 No
Plant materials Yes
Animal bedding No
White goods (i.e. appliances) No
Laboratory equipment No
Furniture No
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets No
Tires No
Other (please specify below) Yes

A brief description of other materials the institution has recycled, composted, donated and/or re-sold:

In addition to the items listed above, the recycling data includes dry cell batteries, and fluorescent tube and bulb recycling.

While the university has programs to divert the following items from the landfill, due to a lack of information on weights, these items are not included in the recycling data above:

- furniture (no weights available)
- cooking oil (no weights available)
- pallets (no weights available)
- tires (no weights available)
- white goods, laboratory equipment, and electronics (as much as possible, this information is included in OP-21)


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?:
Yes

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?:
Yes

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?:
Yes

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program (percentage, 0-100):
15

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:

Buildings and Grounds Services and Energy Management and Sustainable Operations, in collaboration with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence, led the 2011 and 2012 campus waste audits. These audits consequently launched two waste projects: the Waste Audit Methodology Project and the Organic Waste Utilization Project.

The Waste Audit Methodology project was introduced to develop new methods for conducting periodic waste audits to enable consistent monitoring and ongoing improvement of waste diversion on campus. A literature review of waste audit methodology used at large post-secondary institutions across North America was completed and was used to inform the waste audit methodology. The methodology is developed and is now in the process of being properly documented.

The second project, the Organic Waste Utilization Project, specifically deals with organics. The project has explored technologies for dealing with the university’s organics and has evolved to a full-scale anaerobic digestion facility in partnership with the City of Edmonton, being built at the City of Edmonton's Waste Management Centre site.

In June 2013, a Waste Diversion Working Group was established to advise on the advancement of recycling and solid waste management at the university.

Recycle staff have also been trained to conduct pre-screening of recyclables, mixed paper, and organics rolling carts prior to tipping them into the on-campus Recycle Transfer Station compactors. If a rolling cart has a single or small amount of incorrectly placed waste material, the waste material will be removed and placed into the correct waste material compactor/bin. If the rolling cart is full of incorrectly placed waste materials, the whole rolling cart will be emptied into a landfill waste bin instead.


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:

In 2011, Facilities and Operations (F&O) and the Office of Sustainability (OS) worked together to create new recycling signage to be used as a new standard for the color coded recycling stations across campus. In 2012, F&O began hosting Recycle it Right Lunch and Learns to improve education and awareness surrounding office-based post-consumer organics collection programs. In 2013, the Waste Diversion/Recycling Coordinator began training Buildings and Grounds, contracted staff, and food service vendors on the campus recycling and organics collection programs.

The OS conducts waste education for students during Week of Welcome and student orientation. Educational banners, bin labels and contests help familiarize students with the waste system, and a waste street team educates attendees of several large events including TAWOW, welcome Pancake Breakfast, Clubs Fair, Graduate Student Orientation, and New Student Block Party. The OS also hosts a website with comprehensive recycling information for university members, sits on the Waste Diversion Working Group to inform outreach and education initiatives, and contributes staff and volunteers to support Zero Waste program implementation. The OS also supports Residence Services with educating students about composting and waste diversion.

In 2016, when the new Zero Waste (ZW) program started being rolled out in buildings across campus, a ZW implementation guide was developed to ensure proper communications with building occupants. The ZW implementation guide includes emails with program details and acceptable material information; bookmarks that are handed out to building occupants; two sets of outreach tabling that includes a survey and hands-on Recycle it Right game to help building occupants learn to sort their waste materials correctly; and Lunch and Learns.


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

Buildings and Grounds Services and Energy Management and Sustainable Operations, in collaboration with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence, led the 2011 and 2012 campus waste audits. These audits consequently launched two waste projects: the Waste Audit Methodology Project and the Organic Waste Utilization Project.

The Waste Audit Methodology project was introduced to develop new methods for conducting periodic waste audits that enable consistent monitoring and ongoing improvement of waste diversion on campus. A literature review of waste audit methodology used at large post-secondary institutions across North America was completed and used to inform the waste audit methodology. The methodology is developed and is now in the process of being properly documented.

To monitor and assess the level of success of Zero Waste pilot programs, three key elements were investigated: (i) material generation; (ii) material composition; and (iii) users’ behaviour. Material generation and composition were related to the amount of materials in each material stream and their level of contamination (incorrect material in a specified material stream). User behaviour is how users (e.g. students, staff, and visitors) interact with the new Zero Waste stations, such as pause time, ease of use, and opinions on signage. To understand the three elements, two key activities were conducted: container monitoring and spot audits. This evaluation was done for three consecutive years after initial program implementation.

AUGUSTANA CAMPUS

Each semester at Augustana Campus, the Community Service-Learning students perform a waste audit. The audits determine how well the recycling and waste diversion systems are working and identify where changes or improvements are needed to uphold the campus-wide commitment to sustainable practices. Over the years, this waste sort has shown just how much of Augustana’s total waste could be diverted from the landfill, and highlighted the gains made in shrinking the ecological footprint.


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

n/a


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

SUPPLY MANAGEMENT SERVICES
http://www.sms.ualberta.ca/en/DistributionServices/EquipmentServices.aspx

All items purchased by the university are the property of the institution. Departments are required to manage their assets appropriately by ensuring that all goods, once they have completed their useful purposes for the department, are available for use by other departments on campus.

Departments are to contact the surplus assets department, obtain a surplus disposal declaration number, and submit a completed surplus form. The surplus operations department of Supply Management Services picks up all items declared surplus and brings them to the central warehouse.

After items are brought to the warehouse, a sort is completed and it is determined if the goods can be reused on campus or should be disposed of off campus. Items that still have value on campus are kept within the warehouse until an appropriate home is found. In most cases, the equipment is transferred at no cost to another department.

Goods that cannot be reused on campus are disposed of in a number of different ways. Goods that have value but are unusable on campus are offered for sale on different websites and removed from campus by buyers. Electronic waste is taken to a local, provincially-approved recycler for processing. All metal is separated and sent to a metal recycler; batteries, plastics and wood products are sent to recyclers for reuse. Items are also donated to charities, schools and other organizations. Many office supplies are reused on campus, including toner cartridges and stationary products. All waste is minimized and very few items are sent to the landfill.

SMS hosts a listserve that UAlberta employees can subscribe to. It acts as in internal exchange network for goods between departments.


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):

SMS Surplus supports university initiatives with space, staffing resources, and expertise. The department maintains a list of equipment that campus users are seeking. When usable equipment comes in, people on the list are notified. This system acts as an internal exchange network for goods between departments.

The university also has a furniture surplus group that redeploys used furniture on the university's campuses. This group manages an inventory of mainstream furniture (desks, tables, chairs, shelves, filing cabinets, etc.) that departments can request at no charge to them, often eliminating the need to purchase new furniture.


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):

All university-operated computer labs and libraries charge students, staff and faculty to use printing services. Prices are standardized at $0.12 per black and white printed page and $0.35 per colour printed page.

To encourage the use of efficient printers over less efficient stand-alone printers, students and staff can print from their own computer from anywhere on campus (including Augustana) and retrieve their print job securely from any multifunction device. Students and staff can also securely scan ​and send documents to their university email address at no charge.

Photocopying services have standardized pricing and are coordinated by the ONEcard office.


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:

UNIVERSITY CALENDAR
http://www.registrar.ualberta.ca/calendar/

​All university course schedules and registration directories are available to current students through an online tool called Bear Tracks.​ ​The annual academic calendar is publicly available online; this major publication includes admission procedures and deadlines, academic regulations and standards, programs of study, degree requirements, and general university policies and codes for both undergraduate and graduate students.

The Office of the Registrar, a major source of academic-related student services, has shown that there has been substantial progress in using the online system, as evidenced by the reduced number of printed calendars they have required every year:

- In 2012/13 academic year, 9,000 calendars were printed.
- In 2011/12 academic year, 12 000 calendars were printed.
- In 2009/10 academic year, 15 000 calendars were printed.
- In 2006/07 academic year, 24 000 calendars were printed.
- In 2005/06 academic year, 25 000 calendars were printed.

In 2014, the university discontinued the print version of the calendar and is focusing efforts on delivering a new, improved online calendar for the future. Since the 2013/2014 academic year, the university has printed zero calendars.

UNIVERSITY DIRECTORY
http://webapps.srv.ualberta.ca/search/

The university operates an online staff directory, which reduces printing demands.


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

MOVE-IN RECYCLING OUTREACH

The move-in waste reduction strategy is a multi-pronged approach to engaging students that are new to campus and residences about ways they can get involved in sustainability. One priority topic area relates to sharing with students how they can recycle and compost on campus. To rise above the noise of other campus messages during the busy move-in and orientation season, the Office of Sustainability developed a series of videos that use humor to talk about composting and recycling. The video series is called “The Tough Guys of Sustainability."

ECO MOVE OUT

Thousands of students move in and out of the university's residences every year, and the material waste and costs associated with this cycle are large. Many individual residences have run programs to encourage waste diversion and recycling during move-out in previous years, but Eco Move Out 2011 marked the first coordinated, large-scale effort to recycle and reuse materials. Eco Move Out is operated by the Office of Sustainability, in collaboration with various units within Facilities & Operations and Residence Services, as well as community partners and sponsors.

Eco Move Out 2017 will build on previous years’ successes in planning, communicating and implementing a system of waste diversion that ensures that material waste resulting from residents’ move-out can be diverted from landfill to appropriate recycling and reuse facilities.

The Eco Move Out program consists of the following components:
- Meeting with partner organizations to develop the program and incorporate improvements derived from participant and organizer feedback.
- Securing and distributing a variety of bins at each residence.
- Direct communication with each residence about Eco Move Out, including information about bin locations, signage and acceptable materials.
- Coordinating the collection, measurement and distribution of all donated and recyclable materials.

The items collected during this time include: traditional recyclables; electronics; non-perishable food items and toiletries; empty personal care and beauty containers; and reusable clothing and household items. In 2016, Eco Move Out achieved a diversion rate of 51% and recycled or donated over 28 tonnes of material.

Recognition
On June 5, 2014, the university was recognized with an Emerald Award for its innovative Waste in Residence programming, a submission which included Eco Move Out operated by the Office of Sustainability.


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

The university coordinates a number of less conventional recycling programs designed to target specific waste items including ink and toner cartridges, dry cell batteries, scrap metal, wood pallets, construction and demolition waste, electronics, and fluorescent tube and bulb recycling. There is also a central furnishing inventory to allow the reuse of previously purchased inventory, reducing the need to purchase new items.

Within the vehicle pool, there is a fluids recycling program that includes the collection and recycling of used motor oil and transmission fluid. Vehicle tires, oil filters and batteries are also collected. The university also runs a Freon Recapture Program for refrigerants that ensures no Freon escapes and that Freon is reused. Instead of being sent to landfill, road sweepings from spring clean-up are used to fill potholes in gravel roads on farms and research stations.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBLE PARTIES

Jessie Kwasny
Waste Diversion/Recycling Supervisor
Buildings and Grounds Services

Monica Chahal
Program Lead - Outreach & Engagement
Office of Sustainability

Kris Urbanczyk
Associate Director, Distribution Services
Supply Management Services

John Younk
Associate Director, Operations
Ancillary Services

Sandra Shores
Senior IT and Facilities Officer
Learning Services

Kimberly Uniat
Associate Director, Marketing and Communications
Office of the Registrar

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.