Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 47.51
Liaison Chris Frantsvog
Submission Date May 1, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Luther College
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.79 / 5.00 Stratis Giannakouros
Assistant Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities
Environmental Studies
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 135 Tons 133.16 Tons
Materials composted 36.75 Tons 6.72 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 496 Tons 631 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 2,073 2,064
Number of residential employees 0 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 2,442 2,534
Full-time equivalent of employees 479 500
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 June 1, 2012 May 31, 2013
Baseline Year June 1, 2003 May 31, 2004

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted:
This was our peak waste year.

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:

A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:
The Office Supplies Reuse Station, located in Valders 372B in the sustainability and environmental studies suite from 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday, is a location for students, faculty and staff to drop off and pick up used office and school supplies. It's a simple, sustainable way to get rid of the supplies you no longer need and find the supplies you want.

A brief description of the institution's efforts to make materials available online by default rather than printing them:
Luther does not print course schedules and directories for students. They are available online through the student's my.luther.edu account. For course catalogs, the number of printed copies is in the process of gradual reduction, since it was only recently put online. When we put the catalog online, we were able to greatly reduce the number of print copies we produce. In the fall of 2008, for instance, we printed 9,100 catalogs for the 2008-09 year; we did not yet have an online version. That year we put the catalog online, so by the fall of 2009, we were able to reduce the print copies to 5,300, and this year we reduced the print quantity to 4,500.

A brief description of any limits on paper and ink consumption employed by the institution:
GoPrint has been implemented as part of a campus-wide effort to reduce paper waste and rising costs. In the past, printing costs have been spread evenly over all users regardless of how much printing was done. GoPrint will enable LIS to shift the cost to those who use printing most and free funds for other purposes.
Luther students are given an allowance of 400 pages ($20.00) of printing for Fall and Spring semesters and 100 pages ($5.00) for the J-Term semester and Summer sessions. Printing is tracked by the student’s Norse Key. Once the printing allowance has been emptied, students will have the option to charge print jobs to their Nordic Cash. Unused pages are not carried over from semester to semester.

A brief description of any programs employed by the institution to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:
Trash to Treasure
Every finals week of Spring Semester, collection rooms are designated in each residential hall for students to place unwanted, usable items. Collection rooms fill fast when students see a second life in their belongings and drop them off. Volunteers haul items to the North Gym where they sort everything to be sold.

The Trash to Treasure flea market-style sale is open for three days prior to graduation and two days after. Tons (literally) of stuff is sold to faculty, staff, students and community members. Items left over after the sale are packed up by the men's basketball team and taken to the Depot (local thrift store) or thrown in a dumpster (leftover furniture and carpet usually get thrown).

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:

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 Cafeteria utilizes a production sheet which contains the recipes we use for all our serving lines. This sheet explains how much food we should make of each particular type for each line based on several factors including historical guest counts and trends for popular menu items. We also track and monitor all waste on a spreadsheet that our employees can fill out when disposing of food. This helps us all stay more aware of what we are unable to use. We then log that information in our production sheets and file them in our computer software as post-production so the next time we make those items our production quantity counts then reflect more accurate numbers. During production, any food by-products, (peels, rinds, etc...) are composted and given to the sustainability department here on campus for later use. We also take leftover food from our lines about three times a week and donate that to a program that my GM Wayne Tudor helped set up called Caf to Community. It goes to a food bank at a local church in individually packaged frozen meals for people to take and reheat. If we have items that can be cooled and re-purposed, we have a large blast-chiller/freezer that rapidly cools down or freezes food for safe storage as well.

A brief description of programs and/or practices to track and reduce post-consumer food waste:
Dining Services removed cafeteria trays to help reduce food waste and conserve resources. Cleaning the trays after each meal requires 700 gallons of water and two hours of dish-washing time, which sustainability advocates consider an expensive ecological and financial cost to pay for dining convenience. A trial,conducted during the 2007-08 spring semester, consisted of weighing the waste from five meals using trays followed by a week of weighing waste from a similar five meals served trayless. The results revealed an 8.4 percent food waste reduction in the cafeteria, equivalent to 215 pounds of food waste. A proposal was written by Caleb Mattison, Luther's sustainability coordinator, during fall semester 2008-09, and Luther administration approved the proposal prior to the end of the semester. Beginning January Term 2009, the college removed the trays permanently.

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):
Oneota Market has reusable containers. These can be used by anyone, and on the first use there is a charge or "deposit." When the person is done with the container, they can bring it back to Oneota and trade it for a clean one. Oneota washes the containers.

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):

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:
Yes, all three to-go-food locations (Sunnyside, Oneota and Marty's) charge less if someone brings their own mug. With their own mug, customers are charged for a "Coffee refill," priced at $0.65. If the mug is exceptionally large, the customer may be charged for two refills. Marty’s, Oneota Market, and Sunnyside Cafe have also added a 30 cent charge for disposable cups used for hot drinks in an effort to reduce waste and encourage students to use reusable cups and mugs.

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

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.