Recycling Operations Center
Grounds and Recycling Operations Center

Release of Fiscal Year 2017 Metrics for Landfill and Landfill Diversion - 11/01/2017

CU Boulder’s Recycling Partnership has concluded its analysis of CU Boulder’s solid wastemanagement activity for fiscal year 2016-2017. The analysis includes reuse, recycling, composting, and landfill statistics. Performance measures such as the rate diverted from landfills, as well as the environmental benefits of the program, have also been calculated. Several of the summary tables and charts are included with additional supporting information available on request.

The Partnership consists of employees in Facilities Management, Housing and Dining Services,and CU’s Student Government (CUSG). The Partnership is guided by a board of directors who reports to the Vice Chancellor for Infrastructure and Safety and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Results of this analysis will continue to guide continuous improvement, as well as update annual reports and publications.

Solid waste management data has been compiled and analyzed by the Facilities Management Campus Building Services associate directors and staff. Improvements in the accuracy and timeliness of reporting have again been made possible this year with the assistance of a number of campus staff from several departments including the Distribution Center, the Environmental Center, Housing and Dining Services, and Transportation Services.

Methodology for this analysis is consistent with national recording and reporting definitions. The analysis includes weight-based records from certified scales for approximately 79% of all materials reported here (3120 of 3176 landfill tons + 1703 of 2958 diversion tons = 4823 of 6134 total waste tons).

EPA approved conversion factors were used for several materials where scale-based weights were not possible (i.e. motor oil, fryer grease). Percentages of steel, aluminum, glass, and plastic were documented in a 2013 senior honors thesis and applied to CU’s commingledcontainer stream (since they are not separated and weighed prior to shipping).

Some of the findings include:

  • A 48.2% diversion rate – the highest in CU’s history. By comparison, the City of Boulder’s reported diversion rate for 2015 was 39%. Boulder County businesses’ 2015 diversion rate was 37%. Nationally, 34.6% was diverted from landfills in 2014.

  • A 4.6% decrease in landfilling (156 tons). This is the first decrease in landfill waste since FY13.

  • A 7.4% increase (204 tons) in materials diverted. This is the third year of 7% or greater increases in diversion and a 34.57% increase since FY11 (2198 to 2958)

  • The Kittredge Loop campus organics roll-off location was completed in December 2016. FM and HDS diverted 50 tons of main campus organics in only six months. The success of this project demonstrates the importance of adding roll-off locations on east campus to increase diversion.

  • Recycling tonnages from automated and manual collections (through the Recycling Operations Center) rose slightly from FY16 (1126 vs. 1132 tons).

  • An overall Compost tonnage increase campus-wide of 97.5 tons, 14.2%. The majority of the additional compost came from UMC and Dal Ward (75.6 tons).

  • An estimated 10,527 metric tons of CO2 equivalent were reduced from reuse, recycling, and composting last year. These savings are comparable to removing the emissions of 2,216 passenger vehicles or saving the annual energy consumption of 830K gallons of gasoline.

  • The commitment made by other departments to increase accuracy and prompt reporting is appreciated and remains vitally important to improving the quality of future analyses.

Landfill and Diversion, in Tons

Year

Diverted

Landfill

Total

Diversion Rate

2000-01

1,293

3,578

4,871

26.54%

2001-02

1,480

3,826

5,307

27.90%

2002-03

1,465

3,812

5,277

27.77%

2003-04

1,453

3,857

5,310

27.36%

2004-05

1,658

3,810

5,468

30.32%

2005-06

1,892

page3image42376

3,657

page3image43408

page3image44152

5,549

page3image45504

34.09%

2006-07

1,877

3,676

5,552

33.80%

2007-08

1,937

3,443

5,380

35.99%

2008-09

2,154

page3image59920

3,535

page3image60952

page3image61696

5,689

page3image63048

37.86%

2009-10

2,022

3,363

5,385

37.55%

2010-11

2,198

page3image70936

3,017

page3image72272

5,215

42.15%

2011-12

2,318

3,206

page3image78496

page3image79080

5,524

page3image80592

41.97%

2012-13

2,458

3,164

5,622

43.72%

2013-14

2,358

3,165

page3image90192

page3image90776

5,523

page3image92288

42.69%

2014-15

2,541

3,278

5,820

43.67%

2015-16

2,754

page3image100856

3,332

page3image101888

page3image102632

6,086

page3image103984

45.25%

2016-17

2,958

 

3,176

 

6,134

48.22%