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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 69.60
Liaison Shanna Eller
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of North Carolina, Greensboro
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.91 / 5.00 Trey McDonald
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 610.91 Tons 641.18 Tons
Materials composted 195.30 Tons 66.95 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 136.21 Tons 143.66 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,242.27 Tons 1,568.11 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 4,616 3,923
Number of residential employees 14 12
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 16,351.70 13,798
Full-time equivalent of employees 2,557.10 2,229.30
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 1,401 754

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, 2005 June 30, 2006

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

To maintain consistency with our prior STARS submissions, we are continuing to use the 2005-06 fiscal year as our baseline.


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

Landfill on the Lawn is an event held every March (to coincide with Recyclemania). During Landfill on the Lawn dumpster contents are emptied in a public space during peak pedestrian traffic times for educational purposes. The waste is sorted into two categories: recyclables are sorted into clear bags and non-recyclable items are sorted into black bags. At the conclusion of the event it is evident on how many recyclables were in the dumpster. Dumpsters that are audited can be Recycling Dumpsters, to determine how much contamination is present, or Trash Dumpsters, to focus on how many recyclables were lost.

Further, smaller scale audits at the office level are part of the baseline measurements for the Green Office Program.


A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:
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A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

UNCG has two programs to address surplus goods. The first, SpartanSwap, allows individuals to post items a department no longer needs to a university website for claim prior to being moved to the surplus warehouse or the landfill. SpartanSwap is entirely user-maintained, giving employees the ability to add or delete campus-wide listings for items as they are procured by or delivered to other departments.

In the second program, surplus items are offered by UNCG Warehouse Services. Surplus property that is not claimed within the SpartanSwap program, as well as other surplus goods, are stored at the warehouse and made available free of charge via transfer to campus departments. The property is also offered to other state agencies and not-for-profit organizations. Finally, the general public may purchase these items during monthly Public Surplus Sales.

The "Got Surplus?" program streamlines this process. Warehouse Services has created this online inventory that is updated as new items are submitted. This inventory can be viewed online by any UNCG employee. When a new item is submitted, an automated email is sent to the warehouse with dynamically generated barcodes for the item. Users receive an email copy of their submission so no paper form is needed. This allows the warehouse staff to accurately track items that move through the warehouse and to the public sale.


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

The Registrar's office does not print undergraduate course catalogs or course schedules, and the campus phone directory has not been printed since 2007. Further, the Graduate School stopped printing its bulletin in 2012-2013.

Several publications, including the University Campus Weekly, are now distributed electronically, and efforts continue to make online reading easier.


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

Printing in UNCG libraries costs 6 cents per double-sided page - all printers in the Libraries are set to duplex printing to reduce waste. This fee applies to all patrons, including faculty, staff, and guests. However, students are allocated 75 free pages per semester (40 pages for summer) in Information Technology Services-sponsored labs, including the Superlab located in Jackson Library.


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

UNCG's Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling (OWRR) oversees a program called "Cram and Scram" to reduce waste generated during move-out. At the end of each Spring semester, roll-carts are placed in the lobbies of each residence hall where students may place ("Cram") unwanted items that are in good condition before they leave ("Scram") for the summer.

All items donated through the Cram & Scram drive are later sold in a rummage sale — proceeds from the sale fund student scholarships to environmental conferences and other environmental learning opportunities, including Earth Day.


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

Project Clean Plate encourages students to reduce food waste by only taking the amount of food they will eat. Graphs are posted in the campus dining center which represent the amount of food waste produced at UNCG. To supplement this, Dining Services displays plates of uneaten and wasted food on a tables near the waste conveyors so patrons get an idea of how much food is wasted. Dining Services believes that through setting goals, educating diners, giving rewards and making charitable contributions, Project Clean Plate helps raise social awareness on campus. It is implemented in the Spartan Restaurant at the beginning of each semester.


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

A program to remove trays from campus dining facilities began in 2008. During 2013-14, approximately 95% of meals served on campus were "trayless."


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):
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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):
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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 "Project Green Thumb" refillable mug program gives customers a discount on coffee and soda refills while protecting the environment by reducing the amount of disposables utilized on campus. Mugs are sold in retail dining locations.


A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

Population numbers are available via the Office of Institutional Research. The Fact Book and the Common Data Set reports contain most of the information used here. Information was also received from Mark Davenport of the Office of Institutional Research. Recycling information was submitted by Ben Kunka, OWRR. Baseline year = 2005-06; performance year = 2013-14. Note that demographic data for baseline year were adjusted based on updated data from the Office of Institutional Research.

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.