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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 56.88
Liaison Dedee DeLongpre Johnston
Submission Date June 3, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Wake Forest University
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.42 / 5.00 Megan Anderson
Manager, Waste Reduction & Recycling
Facilities & Campus Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 302.22 Tons 342.76 Tons
Materials composted 601.68 Tons 753.06 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 77.91 Tons 58.26 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,909.42 Tons 1,391.11 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 3,438 3,294
Number of residential employees 4 4
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 6,765 6,394.20
Full-time equivalent of employees 2,287.30 2,083.30
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 111.50 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, 2011 June 30, 2012

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

The current Waste Reduction and Recycling Manager was hired in 2010. Although data had been collected before this time, it was difficult to verify its accuracy for preceding years. The manager began systematic comprehensive data collection beginning late 2010. A baseline for FY12 yields the most accurate comparison of data.


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

The institution conducted audits of classroom building waste in 2009 in order to make informed decisions regarding waste diversion collection.

The institution conducted waste audits of its football competition stadium to inform waste reduction strategies there.


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:

A Surplus Property program was established at Wake Forest University in the summer of 2011. A new surplus storage facility, and a Surplus Coordinator position were established to handle moves and relocation procedures. Previously, a purchasing representative managed all WFU surplus furniture.

Since the start of the Surplus Program in July of 2011, the program has diverted over 248,600 lbs. of waste from the landfill, repurposed over 3,000 items and furniture for on-campus use, captured close to 30,000 lbs. of residential electronic waste through a free pickup program, and helped the university avoid costs of buying new items by over $1 million dollars.

The main goal of the surplus property program is to relocate furniture that is no longer needed to another useful place on campus. If this is not possible, the furniture is donated to a local agency. This diverts waste from the landfill and also creates an incentive for departments to reuse items while reducing the need for departments to buy new. In 2011, the surplus property program diverted over 65 tons from the landfill (an increase from 27 tons diverted from the landfill in 2010-before an official Surplus Property program was established).


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

In 2012, the university adopted a strategic priority to make materials available online, rather than printing them. Since that time, the Financial Services division and the Office of the Registrar have both received institutional recognition for their efforts to convert multiple paper processes to electronic formats.

While several publications for external audiences, including capital campaign materials and the university's primary magazine are printed for distribution, the same publications are also available electronically.


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

There are no free printers in any common access areas on campus. The cost to print or copy in black and white is 8¢ per page and 25¢ per color page. Students of the undergraduate College receive an initial $4.00 worth of copies or prints per semester on their ID cards. Students in the graduate and professional schools receive an initial $20.00 worth of copies or prints per semester.

All multifunctional printer/copiers for faculty and staff are set to automatically print double-sided.


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

Students diverted more than 45,750 pounds of waste from dumpsters and landfills during the Spring 2014 move out.

This program, “Deacs Donate,” facilitates the donation of clothing, small appliances, room furnishings, and household goods to the Goodwill Industries.

Various additional waste diversion initiatives take place at residential move-out stations, such as paper recycling, the collection of re-usable dining take-out containers and personal recycling bins (which are cleaned and redistributed to students the following year at move in), books that cannot be sold back to the book store (which are resold/donated through Better World Books), and bicycles (which are collected for upfitting and redistribution).

During move-in, special collection areas for cardboard waste are set up in all residential areas.


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:

The institution conducted two comprehensive food waste audits of its primary dining halls in 2011 and 2015 in order to inform pre- and post-consumer waste reduction and compostable-waste-collection campaigns.


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 university's food and dining provider runs a program called Food Fundamentals in which they use baseline and performance data and to inform pre-production practices that effectively reduce waste.

The university also offers ongoing educational events for all patrons at its North campus dining facility, where post-consumer waste is treated in an industrial pulper prior to collection for composting. The "Compost is So Hot" campaign educates patrons about what can and cannot be collected for composting.


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

The trayless dining program was implemented in the spring 2008 semester. The program not only reduces our water and chemical usage but also aids in the reduction of food waste. By implementing trayless dining at both the Fresh Food Company and the Hilltop Market, we save 900 gallons of water per day. That's 198,000 gallons of water per school year.

Dining Services also reduces food waste and addresses food insecurity by partnering with Campus Kitchen and local non-profits in the Winston-Salem community.

They implemented Market Style Dining.Instead of all-you-care-to-eat, this promotes food waste reduction and portion awareness at the Hilltop Market dining hall


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):

The reusable to-go container program started in January 2010, as a voluntary option for diners. Beginning with the 2010/11 academic year, the program became mandatory.
Our To-Go program allows students to take a reusable to-go container from the dining halls and exchange it for a cleaned, sanitized one.


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):

Dining halls are outfitted with stainless steel silverware and reusable melmine or bamboo/melamine dishware.


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:

Both coffee franchises on campus offer a re-usable mug discount.


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:

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.