Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 53.62
Liaison Michael Kensler
Submission Date Jan. 11, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Auburn University
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.32 / 5.00 Joan Hicken
Waste Reduction & Recycling
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 657 Tons 314 Tons
Materials composted 2.30 Tons 0 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 51.10 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 5,039 Tons 5,004 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 4,608 2,640
Number of residential employees 0 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 23,436 21,542
Full-time equivalent of employees 5,039 4,241
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 383 0

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Oct. 1, 2013 Sept. 30, 2014
Baseline Year Oct. 1, 2005 Sept. 30, 2006

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted:
The Waste Reduction & Recycling Department chose this baseline to align with their internal baseline/measuring, and it reflects the first year they feel confident in the reliability of their data.

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

A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:
The university's office supply contract now requires a minimum $50 order before the items will ship, which reduces the need for smaller shipments and therefore reduces packaging. The office supply vendor also operates a fit-to-item packaging program, which greatly reduces packaging materials per order. In addition, the new Pouring Rights contract requires our beverage and snack vendors to establish a pallet re-use/recycle program for their campus operations.

A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:
Auburn University departments are required to transfer all equipment purchased with university funds that is no longer useful or needed to the Surplus Property Department. Surplus Property personnel inspect this equipment and determine if there is any useful service life remaining. The surplus equipment that is still useful is made available to university departments. This equipment is listed on the Surplus Property website and can be inspected during business hours. The surplus equipment can also be transferred to Alabama public schools and State of Alabama governmental entities. Any equipment no longer needed by the university or not transferred to Alabama public schools or government agencies typically gets sold at public auction for use by the purchaser.

A brief description of the institution's efforts to make materials available online by default rather than printing them:
Course catalogs and schedules are completely online, as are campus directories. All travel vouchers for campus-funded travel are now completed electronically, and many of the finance/budgeting systems only require electronic documentation/communication. E-ticketing is available for most athletics events that require a ticket, and the Athletic Department newsletter is now only an e-newsletter. Auburn Commons, a communication for Auburn Alumni, has also transitioned entirely to a digital format.

A brief description of any limits on paper and ink consumption employed by the institution:
All departments pay for printing/copying per page. In addition, all common-use student labs charge per page for printing/copying. The only "free" printing available to students is in professional school (e.g. - Architecture, Industrial Design) computer labs.

A brief description of any programs employed by the institution to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:
MOVE-IN: Auburn University students start the school year off by recycling cardboard during Move-in Mania – the university’s fall event for students living on campus in residence halls. The Waste Reduction and Recycling Department provides cardboard dumpsters and/or roll-offs located near each residence hall to collect empty and flattened cardboard. Staff directs students to recycling stations located throughout the campus housing areas and assist parents and students with recycling.
MOVE-OUT: Auburn University's Auxiliary Enterprises Property Management holds an annual ""Check-Out for Charity"" event where they partner with the Salvation Army of Lee County, the Food Bank of East Alabama, and Habitat for Humanity Restore to divert excess items to local nonprofit groups and charities. Auburn donates nearly 3,000 lbs. of food collected during Check-Out for Charity to the Food Bank of East Alabama and an estimated 20 tons of goods to the Salvation Army each year.

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

A brief description of any food waste audits employed by the institution:
The Waste Reduction and Recycling Department has worked with Tiger Dining/Chartwell's to conduct a food waste audit at the Auburn Student Center, which features a number of retail dining locations.

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:
Chartwell's utilizes "Trim Trax" to reduce prep waste. Through training and standard operating procedures, kitchen prep waste is tracked to lower both food waste and over production.

A brief description of programs and/or practices to track and reduce post-consumer food waste:
Tiger Dining/Chartwell's runs and publicizes "Project Clean Plate" at the Village Dining Buffet. Here post-consumer waste is weighed and recorded. Results are updated weekly for dining visitors, with target goals set for the current week. Currently, Auburn averages approximately 2.5-3oz per guest at the Village Buffet. Tiger Dining/Chartwell's also launched the F.I.T. (Fresh, Innovative, Tasteful) Station in the Village Dining Hall. This buffet option allows consumers to easily limit their portions size (and calories) through clear labeling and plate design.

By standard practice, Auburn features tray-less dining.

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):
While Auburn has no standardized composting program, Tiger Dining/Chartwell's operated venues provide all compostable and/or recyclable containers for to-go items. This effort is in anticipation of the development of a food-waste composting program for campus.

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):
Tiger Catering offers reusable service ware as one of its options for catered events, and all to-go packaging at Tiger Dining/Chartwell operated locations on campus is either compostable or recyclable.

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:
Caribou Coffee offers a discount for bringing your own travel mug. In addition, Starbucks offers a discount if you use a Starbucks-branded travel mug.

A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:
Coffee Grounds are now being picked up weekly for community gardens - 4-600 lb a week. Buffets are trayless to lower waste. Campus Kitchens Project picks up excess food twice a week and serves over 200 meals each week from the salvaged, un-served food. In addition, campus dining venues are all now Styrofoam free. Each year Tiger Dining/Chartwell's partners with other campus group to host the zero-waste Sustainability Picnic to welcome students back to campus.

The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.