Zero Waste Data & Policy

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ZW audit
Resource Recovery makes data-driven decisions to develop best practices and manage programs to support campus in meeting the resource management policies set forth for UT Austin. We aggregate waste numbers from entities across campus and analyze that material through waste audits.

Zero Waste Data

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Waste Audit Data

Resource Recovery periodically conducts waste audits, which provide data about the quantities and types of materials generated on campus. Analyzing this data helps determine which programs or areas to focus on to reduce waste.

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156 Miles

The estimated 1.6 million cups disposed of on campus annually laid end-to-end would stretch 156 miles, which is basically the distance from Austin to Houston (160 miles). This means 33 disposable cups per person per year are tossed on average (assuming 50,000 campus population).

Click the image or text link for more waste data analogies to visualize the scale of our campus waste.

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The University of Texas at Austin Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) report

STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. Find waste-related details within the Operations credits.

Greenhouse Gas inventory

The University of Texas at Austin Greenhouse Gas Inventory

2019 update analysis of Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, including a more comprehensive analysis of supply chain emissions.

Campus Standards

Bin specs

Bin Standards: UT Austin Recycling, Landfill & Compost Specs

A guide that provides recommended bin manufacturers and products is available upon request.

Interior Bin Standards

Bin Standards: UT Zero Waste Interior Bin Performance Standards & Placement

This guide identifies interior bin standards related to placement and labeling.

Zero Waste Policy

ZW HOP

Campus Sustainability Policy, Handbook of Operating Procedures

"University policies, practices and curricula should, when possible, embody approaches that reduce life cycle costs, restore or maintain the functioning of natural systems, and enhance human well-being."

Natural Resources Conservation Plan

Natural Resource Conservation Plan

"The University can reduce the demand for water and energy, and minimize our financial exposure to changes in the cost of essential resources such as natural gas and water as well as the potential for future carbon costs by reducing demand side resource consumption and improving operational efficiencies and accomplish the following goals in an environmentally responsible manner."

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UTS 169 Sustainability Practices, UT System Policy

"This policy confirms The Board of Regents of The University of Texas System commitment to stewardship of the environment and promotion of the principles of energy efficiency and sustainability."

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Sustainability Master Plan

"This 2016 Sustainability Master Plan reflects our determination to tackle one of the most pressing and complex problems of our time, as well as our confidence in the potential of the UT Austin community to change the world." - Former President Greg Fenves

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Sustainability Master Plan 2018 Update

Progress report on achievements and challenges for the targets identified in the Sustainability Master Plan

Purchasing Business Procedures

Green Purchasing Policy, Handbook of Business Procedures, Part 7 Purchasing

"Consistent with the President’s Committee on Business Productivity’s recommendations toward more active stewardship of tangible and intangible assets and critical examination of their use, The University of Texas at Austin is committed to encouraging and supporting sustainable practices throughout the supply chain."

A.R. 18

SG AR 18 - In Support of Improved Composting on Campus

Student Government Assembly 2016 legislation in support of campus composting

ZW Joint Resolution

J.R. 19 (S) 3 - Endorsement of UT Sustainability Master Plan and Goal of Zero Waste Campus by 2020

2019 Joint Resolution by the Graduate Student Assembly and Student Government Assembly in support of campus waste reduction