Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 48.61
Liaison Kristina Bryan
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Saint Louis University
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.28 / 5.00 Brandon Verhoff
Sustainability & Benchmarking
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 511 Tons 408 Tons
Materials composted 215 Tons 203 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 196 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 2,265 Tons 2,520 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 3,868 3,517
Number of residential employees 20 21
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 11,919 10,992
Full-time equivalent of employees 5,292 5,083
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 1,282 416

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2013 June 30, 2014
Baseline Year July 1, 2008 June 30, 2009

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

The baseline was established due to the implementation of single-stream recycling on campus. FY09 was the year prior to implementation of the program, therefore that year was adopted as the University's baseline. Some user facts could not be located, so a 0 was placed in that field (even though the value may not be a 0, the data was unavailable to report).

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

Waste audits have been occurring more frequently due to a graduate student practicum project. This practicum is focused on the behavioral analysis of recycling behavior and why the SLU community recycles and landfills certain items. Regular audits are performed in landfill and recycling bins on campus. A program called Adopt-A-Spot was also employed during the 2014 RecycleMania competition to audit and award areas on campus that have excelled in the clean collection of single-stream recycling materials.

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

Although Saint Louis University does not have a policy regarding waste prevention, efforts are made to reduce the amount of waste on campus. The University has signed a contract with Xerox for managed print solutions in order to reduce the amount of paper and reduce energy demand by centralizing printing and removing individual desk-side printers. Other waste reduction activities included in this initiative include, but not limited to default settings of double sided printing, reduction in paper usage and reduction in toner waste.

Custodial Services purchases bulk products through our supplier for cleaning chemicals and paper products. Concentrated chemicals are ordered in bulk and distributed through a process of refilling bottles when empty in lieu of purchasing bottles and disposing of them when empty.

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

Distribution Services serves as the primary receiving center and distributes parcels to all University departments. This department coordinates the re-use of University furniture. Any surplus of furniture on campus can be stored at Earhart Hall. Departments on SLU's campus can tour the storage facility and select from furniture available on site for a reduced rate.


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

Saint Louis University ceased printing both undergraduate and graduate course catalogs. Both are now available online as searchable PDF files. The last printed Undergraduate Catalog was the 2005-2007 Undergraduate Catalog. Saint Louis University utilizes Banner Self-Service to publish our catalog of courses, provide access to additional course information and to register online.


The University also utilizes Google apps to share documents between colleagues in order to promote dialogue, collaboration, and reduce printing.

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

Saint Louis University limits printing by requiring students to use "Billiken Bucks" to pay for all copy and print jobs at a cost of 10 cents per page). This applies to documents printed from shared workstations in computer labs as well as from students' personal computers to one of the networked printers on campus. In order to be able to print from their personal computers, students must install the printer drivers and Pharos print management software.


The University has signed a contract with Xerox for managed print solutions in order to reduce the amount of paper and reduce energy demand by centralizing printing and removing individual desk-side printers. Other waste reduction activities in this initiative include, but not limited to default settings of double sided printing, reduction in paper usage and reduction in toner waste.


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

In support of Saint Louis University's commitment to sustainability and the environment, the Center for Service and Community Engagement along with Facilities Services and Housing and Residence Life conducts the Trash To Treasure campaign.

At the end of each semester, donation tents are set-up outside of residence halls, where students can donate gently used furniture, clothing, electronics or appliances that they do not wish to bring home. New food and toiletry donations are also accepted.

Instead of being thrown out, all goods and materials are donated to community organizations such as Salvation Army, Campus Kitchen, the Dream Center, and other non-profits who then distribute them to those in need.


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

Saint Louis University is active in trying to limit the total number of disposable water bottles used on campus. Many campus facilities have water bottle filling stations, encouraging the campus community in the use of reusable water bottles.

The University also employs many strategies in order to minimize the amount of toner cartridges directed towards the landfill. Facilities Services partners with the CFK (Cartridges for Kids) program to collect student’s printer cartridges and small electronic devices. CFK boxes are stationed in all residence halls on campus. Offices are encouraged to utilize their vendor’s toner recycling process, including SLU’s new contractor for printing services, Xerox.


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

DineSLU Sustainability hosted "Weigh the Waste" food audits throughout the fall semester in various dining service locations. Food left on plates, which are normally thrown away, is collected and weighed to raise awareness surrounding consumer level food waste.

Fun games and prizes were available. Amelia Fisher, DineSLU Sustainability coordinator, was present to answer questions about the steps that students, faculty, and staff could take to reduce the amount of food that they waste.

Each semester, at least one food waste audit is conducted in the residential dining halls. During these "Weigh the Waste" events, all plates are scraped and the food waste is weighed and recorded at 15 minute intervals. The information is then posted so students can learn more about food waste. There is also a game that students can participate in during the event, where they estimate how much post-consumer food waste is generated during the lunch period. Information and facts about food waste are also distributed to generate awareness.The most recent Weigh the Waste event took place during lunch on November 21st, and there will be more Weigh the Waste events in February, March, and April during the Spring semester. These audits are a chance to identify source reduction strategies, identify waste stream contamination reduction opportunities, lower costs and develop educational programming.

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:

Aramark has implemented trayless dining in the resident dining halls on SLU’s campus. Eliminating trays is in line with Aramark’s overall Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, and it is what our customers have come to expect. The benefits of going trayless are not only environmental, but economic and humanitarian as well. Going trayless enables us to better allocate our resources while helping the environment and addressing the current food crisis. Aramark also trains employees to prepare food in ways that reduce food waste, and this practice is monitored through the Food Management Program. Preconsumer waste is collected in buckets and analyzed with staff to ensure proper trimming, thus reducing unnecessary waste.

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

During the Waste Audits, post-consumer food waste is tracked using a poster, which remains in the residential dining hall locations so that students will be prompted to think about waste during their meal. Weigh the Waste aims to raise awareness of post-consumer food waste for students and to track a downward trend in post-consumer food waste from event to event and semester to semester. The frequency of the waste audits are increased in the spring semester to gather more data and to reach more students. Marketing materials are being developed that translate the food waste into facts and figures that students can better understand. For example, during November Weigh the Waste, each person generated 0.2 lbs of post-consumer food waste, which equals 20 lbs of food waste per person per month. 20 lbs of food waste equates to the weight of a car tire. The amount wasted could feed 5 people for a day. All of this information will be distributed to students through marketing and social media. Hydration stations are offered in residential dining locations across the Saint Louis University campus. In addition to the traditional filtered water station, residential dining will also offer infused water stations, with water flavored by produce such as cucumbers and oranges, etc. on a daily basis.

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):

In an effort to reduce disposable packaging at its source, Aramark commits to implementing a reusuables program whenever possible. Reusable to go containers, cups,and mugs offer customers a hands-on opportunity to lighten their personal footprint and make a positive impact on their environment. Aramark's reusable water bottles have been very popular on campus. In an effort to reduce impact on the environment, Aramark offers reusable ecoClamshell containers to encourage patrons to forgo disposable containers. The sustainable ecoClamshell program allows students to purchase a reusable container for a one-time fee of $5 at either Griesdieck or Reinert Dining Hall. Participants may use the container to take their meals to go, and exchange their used container for a clean one at the next meal.

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):

Aramark provides reusable service ware, including plates, cups and silverware, for all "dine in" cafeterias. Napkins are made of 100% recycled content. To-go containers are compostable and recyclable. Fresh Gatherings purchases napkins made of 100%, non-bleached recycled content. Used napkins are incorporated into the compost operation. All food at Fresh Gatherings is served on fully compostable plates, cups, bowls, etc. Beverage cups are compostable (both hot and cold). The garden program utilizes seven compost tumblers, one large industrial sized tumbler and a vermiculture system for management of both pre- and post-consumer food waste.

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:

Starting in January, there will be a 30 cent discount on refills on reusable drink containers. Aramark already offers a reusable water bottle, and now will be offering a hot liquid mug and cold liquid mug in several locations across campus.

Fresh Gatherings has a reusable insulated mug for sale at cost. Customer can fill at the "refill" price, which is $0.99 for any size reusable mug up to 32oz.

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

Aramark implements educational programming in the area of waste stream management to further draw attention to waste diversion and the potential impact of taking small steps on campus. Programming and collaboration with Saint Louis University will and has included events for Sustainability Week, Earth Week, RecycleMania and America Recycles Day. Aramark also partners with Campus Kitchen, a food recovery organization, in Reinert Dining Hall.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.