Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 51.85
Liaison Karen Eckert, Ph.D.
Submission Date Nov. 30, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Principia College
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Karen Eckert, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Center for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Dining Services Composting

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

Principia College is one of only 6 Illinois institutions (colleges, universities, businesses) to have been recognized two years in a row for its successful efforts to compost 100% of pre- and post-consumer food scraps from its Dining Services. We compost all food trimmings during food preparation in 100% of our prep kitchens, as well as compost left-over plate scraps after a dish is served to students, faculty/staff, and visitors/guests. We analyze our supply vs waste and modify procedures to reduce food waste through procurement adjustments, campus outreach about composting and food waste, and partnering with the college's Center for Sustainability in advocating for student-led, campus-based food production (e.g., aquaponics, beekeeping, maple syrup production, mushrooms, herbs, food forest).


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

Inspired by their success at composting, Dining Services committed to achieving "Zero Waste" (90%+ landfill diversion) throughout its operations. Their most recent waste audit (May 2015) confirmed 89% waste diversion: 35% composted, 54% recycled.


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 No
Research No
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement No
Air & Climate No
Buildings No
Dining Services Yes
Energy No
Grounds No
Purchasing Yes
Transportation No
Waste Yes
Water No
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available :

Principia College was recognized by the IFSC during the performance year (2014) as one of 8 institutions in Illinois that could demonstrate 100% pre- and post-consumer composting of food waste in our Dining Services. In addition, all disposable plates, glasses, lids, straws, silverware and to-go containers are compostable. The material is collected weekly under contract with St Louis Composting (http://stlcompost.com/). A student-led initiative to collect composting from the Science Center and 50% of all residential dorms was initiated in 2014 in partnership with the Center for Sustainability; the program is self-sustaining and collects several hundred pounds of composting per month.

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.