Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 58.15
Liaison Victor Udo
Submission Date Sept. 16, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Bucknell University
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.15 / 5.00 Merritt Pedrick
Associate Director for Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 458.10 Tons 364.79 Tons
Materials composted 1,013 Tons 1,679 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 4.74 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,228.09 Tons 1,389.76 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 2,973 3,050
Number of residential employees 17 17
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 3,572.20 3,563
Full-time equivalent of employees 1,308.70 1,162
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 0 0

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2012 June 30, 2012
Baseline Year July 1, 2007 June 30, 2013

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

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

In 2011, comprehensive waste audit was conducted on campus. Over ten different dumpsters were sampled and contents were weighed. The waste audit was further described in an honors thesis by Hallie Kennan '12.

A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:

Whenever possible, Bucknell specifies products that are durable; made from recycled materials; made of materials that can be recycled; made with materials that require less raw product (e.g. seat cushions are often a mesh material instead of thick foam); delivered in cartons with minimal packaging.

On large orders, Bucknell requires the installer to recycle the packaging.

Our bottle-less water coolers do not require plastic jugs. Since we don't need delivery of bottled water, there are fewer delivery trucks on campus.

A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:

Each summer Bucknell coordinates a supply swap for campus departments. Individuals can pick up recycled items and save their department budget dollars by finding supplies at the swap. Items typically include folders, binders, and plastic organizers.

Two times a year there are open sales of items that no longer have value to the University but still may have value. The sales are primarily furniture, supplies and machinery that have been stored in the warehouse to a period beyond its value compared to the value of the storage space. Procurement runs the sale and funds go back into the Bucknell general account.

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

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

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

Bucknell's program is Hidden Treasures/Pay it Forward. Office of civic engagement, facilities, and residential education work together to collect residence hall move-out reusable waste. Last year we collected 2.66 tons of items that were Provided to charities such as American Rescue, Hand Up, Salvation Army and Community aid.

We also make special collection locations and efforts to capture cardboard after residence hall move-in.

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

Bucknell also actively searches for reuse of older used classroom and resident hall furniture to charity programs such as Food for the Poor, Hand Up, local churches, etc. This in the past has resulted in tractor trailer loads of furniture staying out of the landfill and being reused.
Recycle solvent cleaning solution in Garage
Recycle oil in Garage
Ink and toner recycling
Recycle White Goods
Recycle electronic equipment to U.S. Prison
Lead acid battery recycling
Tire recycling
Antifreeze recycling

A brief description of any food waste audits employed by the institution:

In 2013 and 2014, a series of food weighs were conducted in the largest dining venue on campus and estimates were made. The weighs were conducted by students in a foundation seminar course entitled "Mindful Consumption."

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:

Bucknell University Dining prides itself on the service of fresh ’made from scratch’ food. As a result of this we process all vegetables from scratch utilizing the trimmings (onion skins, broccoli stalks, carrot peels etc.) to create all of the stocks we use for soups. Because of full utilization of these and other production castoff products (beef trimmings, chicken bones etc.) and a fiscally responsible production system we produce little to no usable pre-service or post production waste.
Three of the primary service areas in our dining facility produce food offerings to order, generating no pre or post-consumer waste. Our primary facility/dining room is open 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. This and our full embrace of batch cooking allow full utilization of food produced.
We operate on an extremely small margin of profitability so serving safe, healthy and fiscally responsible food is our driver. Overproducing and disposing of product is simply unacceptable

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

The primary waste produced in our facility is post-consumer waste. We utilize a pulper system which grinds all food plate waste (along with napkins) into a biomass perfect for anaerobic digestion. Before we went tray less we estimate more than 600 # day of this waste was produced and sent to a land fill.
After going tray less we saw a reduction to less than 200 #’s a day of this waste. After finding a suitable partner for composting we were able to compost 13 tons of waste in about 35 weeks of service. Unfortunately the relationship we had with a local farm that was able to utilize this compost ended. We are presently looking at options to continue composting with another partner.
In the fall of 2012 Bucknell hosted author Jonathan Bloom, whose literary focus is the reduction of food waste. After four educational opportunities (Waste Weighs with guests in our facility’s tray waste being weighed) over the last 2 years we noted a reduction of the 1.5 oz a plate waste a meal we had measured.
Through a series of student driven classes and informational signage Dining partnered with Bucknell Facilities to raise awareness and reduce food waste.

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):

Bucknell University Dining has two programs which utilize either a reusable cup (provided by participants) with a .25 cent discount or a reusable fold over Togo Food Container. The coffee cup program is offered in our Retail Operations and the Food Container is offered in the Resident Dining Program.

All napkins used across campus and 6 and 9 inch plates in both the Retail and Catering Departments are fully compostable. Additionally hot coffee cups in the Resident Dining are compostable.

Bucknell Dining and the University Facilities Department were able to fully compost all Resident Dining post-consumer waste for one year. Unfortunately, this program turned out to not be sustainable and although it composted 13 tons of waste, it ended in 2012. We have been (and continue to be) actively seeking a relationship which would continue our composting initiative.

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):

The resident Dining Program uses china; silverware and tumblers for dine in service for approximately 4000 meals a day. This service ware use is in place in two other locations at lunch daily serving an additional 350 guests.

Retail and Resident Dining takeout meals service ware and containers are recyclable but not compostable.

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 ‘BE A RE-FILLER’ Mug Program offers guests the option to purchase a sticker for 1$. The sticker is put on the guest’s own mug and they receive .25 cents off all future coffee purchase while using that mug. This Program is in use in all Retail operations.

The fold over To Go containers sold in Bostwick (the resident dining program) for cost (what dining pays for them). This 5$ charge allows no discount but does come with a card which can be used to borrow a second container if a guest needs to. Participants are aware that the use of the container keeps the recyclable To Go’s out of use.

These To Go Containers are also used as part of our Healthy Supper Club initiative. They are reused for adult/ family meal replacement meal.

A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:

We began Composting in April of 2011 and were able to maintain the process until May of 2012! During that time we were able to compost 13 tons of Post-Consumer Waste! After literally years of discussion and planning, Bucknell Dining was able to find and reach an agreement with a local sustainable farm, Rowse House Farms. As of May 2012 we had provided 13 tons of food waste to their Vermee Compost operation. Unfortunately due to disappointing circumstances we had to cease the process with that partner. We are actively seeking a similar arraignment elsewhere and are hopeful we will do so in the near future. We were extremely excited about this initiative as it allowed us to fully utilize the food left on plates after every meal! Currently we are still looking to develop another partnership which would yield the same results.
We've Gone 100% Trayless!
Fall of 2011 The Bostwick Marketplace became Trayless! Our program was modeled after those of 100’s of institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada. In the Fall Semester of 2009 we removed trays from the resident dining program two days per week. Of the nearly 4000 meals that were served on Tuesdays and Thursdays we estimated 98% were served without trays. We further estimated a reduction of nearly 150 lbs of tray waste per day from this initiative. On campuses nationwide, this initiative had proven to reduce water usage, food waste and electricity. Over the summer of 2011 modifications to the dish belt will allowed us to remove trays from use in Bostwick.

Commitment to Purchasing Local
All of Eat n’ Park Hospitality Group’s accounts have focused on purchasing products and ingredients from local and artisan suppliers for more than a decade. In 2011 Bucknell Dining was able to reach 37% of all purchasing being local. All farms and purveyors, in the Farm Source program, are from within 150 miles of Bucknell.

Biodegradable & Recycled Products
Bucknell University Dining Services supports using environmentally friendly supplies and we are working to limit excessive packaging as well as to fully utilize compostable products wherever possible. The retail dining program utilizes a number of biodegradable to-go containers as well as the recycled paper napkins already in place throughout all of our facilities. We also offer biodegradable service ware in our catering department. A large percentage of our marketing materials are printed on recycled paper, also.

Reusable Mug Program
In partnership with the Environmental Club and the Facilities Department Bucknell University Dining Services has developed the “Be a Refiller” Program. This is a program where for only $1.00, guests purchase a sticker they place on their own 16 oz mug. This sticker entitles the owner to have a price reduction on 16 oz mugs of coffee at both the Bison and the Library Café.

Retail Sustainability Initiatives
Our Retail Operations have initiated and taken part in a number of partnerships with the Environmental Club and the Facilities Department to offer sustainable catering at athletic events. They also replaced 9 inch foam plates in the Bison with reusable baskets with paper liners.

Dining Sustainability Ambassadors
Starting in the fall of 2008, Bucknell University Dining developed the position of Student Sustainability Coordinator to help define new initiatives important to the student body, and facilitate an ongoing relationship via dialogue with the University. As of 2011, we have renamed the position to Dining Sustainability Ambassadors and have 4 of them working with us; Reilly Price, Olivia Tomeo, Alex Hom and Jessica Ertel.

Food Waste Reduction Initiative
After a visit in 2012 by Jonathan Bloom, (journalist, food waste expert and the author of the book, American Wasteland and the blog Wasted Food) we have held a ‘Waste Weigh’ in the Bostwick Marketplace. This event resulted in the base measurement of 90 lbs. of tray waste being scraped off guests plates at a Friday lunch. With the help of Professor Nancy White’s ‘Mindful Consumption’ Class we have enhanced our servery with signage to heighten awareness of food waste. We intend to hold more Waste Weighs and compare results.

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.