Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Suzanne Hansen
Submission Date July 18, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Macalester College
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Ralph Williamson
Custodial Services Manager
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 99.90 Tons 79.20 Tons
Materials composted 154.70 Tons 0 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 227.50 Tons 357.30 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 1005 1001
Number of residential employees 565 566
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 2011 2002
Full-time equivalent of employees 565 566
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, 2010 May 31, 2011

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

Macalester's Sustainability Office adopted its sustainability plan in 2009, a year after Macalester's President signed the climate commitment that gives Macalester a goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2025. As part of you Sustainability plan, we also set a goal for zero waste by 2020 thus making our waste generation baseline from the year 2008.


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

Waste audits were performed with the guidance of Minnesota Waste Wise in 2010 and in 2014.


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

All disposable dishware, take out containers, and catering supplies are compostable where ever possible.


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

MacFree Swap is an online listing service that allows students, faculty, and staff to post unwanted items online and arrange for pick-up. In 2011, the MacFree Swap expanded into a physical space as well next to the Sustainability Office where all members of the Macalester community can pick-up and drop-off items.


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

The catalogs are available online for students. Course schedules are not printed and are only available online for students. The college directory is also available online.


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

The Library and Media Center student workers launch a 'Ponder Before Printing' awareness campaign once a semester to discourage student printing on campus. PDF markup software is offered, printing tips and alternative ink-efficient fonts are promoted, and professors are asked to consider fewer printed assignments or readings.
Finally, the Library has a printing tracking system that, in addition to providing use data, limits student print jobs to two at a time to discourage mass printing.


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

In response to the traditionally overwhelming amount of waste generated when students move out the dormitories, a collaborative program was set up by the Zero Waste Committee to capture useable material for a fall garage sale, and promote recycling. The recycling rate jumped from 17% in 2008 to an impressive 46% in 2009 (including e-waste). Two rooms of material were stored on campus for resale at the fall Habitat for Humanity garage sale. Since then, an extensive Move Out program has been instituted. The garage sale has continued and useable items are donated to Goodwill.


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

2008 -present: Graduation Gown Donation Program: Mac grads donate graduation gowns to MN
Internship Charter High School
2008 - present: Greening Reunion: Zero Waste Picnic incorporated, started email outreach instead of postcards, water coolers instead of water bottles.
2008 -present: EcoClamshell: Reusable carryout containers available at the Grill
2009 - present: Papercut software: ITS installed Papercut software to count pages printed by student
2009 - present: 100% Recycled Letterhead: Letterhead changed to a 100% post consumer waste recycled paper
2009 - present: Printing awareness week: Library starts annual printing reduction outreach
2009 - present: Student Account eBilling: Switched from paper bills to eBilling
2009 - present: Move Out: Extensive recycling and reuse program put in place, Recycling rate jumped from 17% in 2008 to 46% in 2009
2010 - present: Onesies: Reused one sided paper notebooks, “onesies” given to all first year students from the Library in 2010
2010 - present: CFL and ewaste recycling on campus: Bins available in the Sustainability Office for student, staff and faculty
2010 - present: Reusable dishware and dishwashers: MCSG bought a set of reusable dishware for student organizations
2010 -present: MacFreeSwap: Listing service on 1600 Grand and free stuff table in Kagin Commons
2010 -present: 100% Recycled Copy Paper: 100% recycled copy paper standard started as campus standard
2010 -present: Print release stations: Reduces accidental printing
2011 - Reuse of Macalester Pipe Organ: Macalester Pipe Organ donated to local church
2011 - Holiday Light Recycling Program: Collaboration with the Recycling Association of
Minnesota to collect discarded holiday lights and electrical cords
2012 - Recycled Art and Craft Fair: Student recycled art and craft fair hosted
2013 - Composting started on campus
2014 - Catering and Food Service start using all compostable dishware
2014 - Compostable dishware promoted to departments


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

Macalester is scheduled to have a dining service waste evaluation this October 2014 with Minnesota Waste Wise.


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:

Bon Appetit makes all their food in small batches as needed to prevent having leftovers. Food will be prepped in large quantities and cooked on an as need basis so the prepped ingredients can be used again in different meals. When large amounts of food do end up being leftover from large events, the prepared foods are donated to Second Harvest Heartland, a local hunger relief organization.


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

The dining hall hosts has removed all trays from the cafeteria to reduce water usage. This initiative was prompted by the Sustainability Office in 2012.


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):

Customers at the Grille can request an EcoClamshell container for to-go meals, which they then return to be washed. Except for foil wrappers on granola bars and condiment packets etc., all packaging and silverware at the Grille is compostable.


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 Dining Hall offers only reusable dishes. Customers at the Grille can request reusable dishes if they are dining on site, otherwise food is always served using compostable ware.


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:

Bon Appétit sells reusable mugs on campus for $5.00, which entitles the owner to discounted coffee refills with the mug. For $1.50 purchasers can have unlimited coffee for the day.


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

Sustainability student workers organize regular Clean Plate Days once a week, where volunteers would help individuals scrape their own food waste into the correct bins after dining to help raise awareness about food waste. In addition, the bins were then weighed to determine how much food waste was being produced, and it was determined that the amount of waste was substantially less on Clean Plate Days, when individuals were responsible for disposing of their own scraps, than on other days.


The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

Macalester switched vendors in 2012 to allow for composting.

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.