Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.95
Liaison Daryl Pierson
Submission Date June 30, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Portland State University
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Molly Bressers
Program & Outreach Coordinator
Campus Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
No Scrap Left Behind Cafeteria Intervention

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :

No Scrap Left Behind (NSLB) is a food diversion program designed and piloted at Portland State University and designed to engage students in active learning around food waste and food diversion skills. The programs seeks to engage students in food diversion in relation to the economic, social, environmental and health impacts that it has. The program also seeks to help students develop some basic skill around food portioning and food diversion. Students participating in the program are surveyed
(convenience/snowball sampling) about knowledge and behaviors around food waste, both to open the discussion and assess the program. The program success is further measured by measuring the amount of student generated food scraps composted during the same lunch period (11am-1pm) the week prior to and after the week of the intervention each term. This allows us to determine the effect of the program/volunteer
presence in the cafeteria and whether students change their behavior in response to us or intrinsically, long-term.


1. To engage students in food waste/portioning awareness educational programming as they pass through the cafeteria and dispose of their waste.

2. To asses student change in knowledge and behavior related to food waste/portioning by comparing pre and post participation survey results and food scrap weights.

3. To help inform catering services about potential opportunities for economic savings by encouraging student food waste reduction.


The No Scrap Left Behind cafeteria intervention was run once a week each term of the academic school year. The cafeteria (wall posters, service stations, tray return, napkin holders, etc) were re-signed for the intervention to promote and inform around food diversion. Volunteers tabled to discuss and interact with students about food waste and portioning. As students came through to the tray return area their food waste was collected and curated into a food waste buffet.

This program is especially innovative due to the comprehensiveness of the program and the robust data being collected regarding student behavior change on campus. For example, the students who are in the classroom creating the cafeteria campaigns are crafting components of their efforts over the course of an entire academic year for Freshman. These students are being administered the same survey twice, once before any word is made of either “food” or “waste” in the classroom and again 9 months later in their last collective classroom time. This survey was designed to gauge both the factual awareness of students regarding the food waste issue and its possible solutions. It also served to catalog students’ personal behaviors involving consumption and food waste. One of the big ideas driving NSLB is that in attempting to make change, we often change ourselves.

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

Fall term data (intervention repeated in winter and spring):
92 surveys completed including important information on student's understanding and views around food waste.
1584 diners exposed to intervention through posters, info on napkin holders, seeing the food waste buffet, and possibly talking with staff or taking the survey.
Near 50% reduction in food scraps during presence of intervention staff.

Our goal is to measure: student engagement, potential for behavior change and waste reduction. Student engagement and potential for behavior change is measured through voluntary surveys. Surveys include

questions on general food waste knowledge, how the intervention impacted students and how they plan to change based on the new information/resources they have.

Potential for behavior change is measured indirectly on surveys and directly through compost audits of student food waste, preformed back-of-house by PSU Ding staff, to quantify food waste before and after the intervention compared to the waste weighed during the intervention from the food waste buffet.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of 5):
Yes or No
Curriculum ---
Research ---
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement ---
Air & Climate ---
Buildings ---
Dining Services Yes
Energy ---
Grounds ---
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste Yes
Water ---
Coordination, Planning & Governance ---
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work ---
Investment ---

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation 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.