Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 38.98
Liaison Ann Drevno
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Saint Mary's College of California
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.01 / 5.00 Joe Kehoe
Director (Ret.)
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 0 Tonnes 0 Tonnes
Materials composted 0 Tonnes 0 Tonnes
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 0 Tonnes 0 Tonnes
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 415.68 Tonnes 350.87 Tonnes

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 1,589 1,634
Number of residential employees 33 33
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 3,688 3,407
Full-time equivalent of employees 697 654
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 July 1, 2012 June 30, 2013
Baseline Year July 1, 2010 June 30, 2011

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

The waste generation baseline was initiated when the College was ready to track waste and set out reduction targets for it in 2010.


A brief description of any (non-food) waste audits employed by the institution:
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A brief description of any institutional procurement policies designed to prevent waste:
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A brief description of any surplus department or formal office supplies exchange program that facilitates reuse of materials:
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A brief description of the institution's efforts to make materials available online by default rather than printing them:

All course catalogs, course schedules, directories are available online to reduce the need for printing.


A brief description of any limits on paper and ink consumption employed by the institution:
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A brief description of any programs employed by the institution to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:
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A brief description of any other (non-food) waste minimization strategies employed by the institution:
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A brief description of any food waste audits employed by the institution:

"Weigh the Waste" is a program Sodexo manages to promote waste reduction and raise awareness about reducing food waste with their students and faculty.


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:

Sodexo utilizes "LeanPath", to reduce organic waste through the use of the LeanPath tracking tool. LeanPath is a Sodexo approved supplier that helps Sodexo track and measure its food waste through the use of a food waste measurement tool.


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

"Weigh the Waste" is a program Sodexo manages to promote waste reduction and raise awareness about reducing food waste with their students and faculty.

Trayless Dining is utilized to reduce water waste.


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):
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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):

Reusable service ware is provided in the dining halls and compostable service ware is provided for to-go meals.


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:
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A brief description of other dining services waste minimization programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

https://www.stmarys-ca.edu/a-greener-campus
https://www.stmarys-ca.edu/saint-marys-college-takes-ecological-action

Project Green -Students involved with Project Green promote sustainable initiatives including recycling, reducing waste, and awareness of global warming. Email: green@stmarys-ca.edu

A Greener Campus

Sun, 2006-01-01 00:00
Story by Stephen Woolpert, Dean of Liberal Arts

Higher education is often a source of leadership in addressing world problems. One example is the rising tide of responses by colleges and universities to the challenge of global warming and other environmental problems. Hundreds of academic institutions in the United States and worldwide have formally committed themselves to confronting environmental problems, not only in their research and educational programs, but also by reducing the environmental "footprint" of their campuses. These campuses are fostering environmental literacy and enhancing the health of their ecosystems by integrating considerations of sustainability – such as conserving resources, preventing pollution, and reducing waste — into their operations and the design and maintenance of their built environments.

Saint Mary's is proud to be a part of this growing trend — not because it is trendy, but because teaching students about sustainability is emblematic of our distinctive educational mission. As a Catholic institution, Saint Mary's College affirms the moral obligation to care for God's creation. In 2002, Pope John Paul II stated that "Christians and all other believers have a specific role to play in educating people in ecological awareness." As a liberal arts institution, Saint Mary's is committed to nurturing responsible citizens who contribute to the common good. Teaching and modeling good environmental citizenship helps students understand their place in an increasingly interdependent world. As a Lasallian institution, Saint Mary's recognizes that the most devastating impacts of environmental degradation are visited upon the disadvantaged. The United States Conference of Bishops observes that "the ecological problem is intimately connected to justice for the poor."

Last spring, the Staff Council and Academic Senate approved resolutions supporting principles of sustainability for the College. In a letter to the College, Brother President Ronald Gallagher said "Sustainability ... is an important concern in our academic life, in the campus facilities and operations, and in our College outreach. I look forward to joining our community in exploring ways that we can incorporate principles of sustainability in our mission and activities."

All sectors of the College are actively engaged in making Saint Mary's "greener."

The College recycles roughly 30 cubic yards of aluminum, plastic, glass and paper monthly. Used batteries and cardboard are recycled at the Physical Plant. On Oct. 27, 2005, a special electronic waste pick-up site collected 20 pallets of waste electronic equipment ("e-waste") from the College and local residents.
In April, 2005, the College received more than $150,000 in utility rebates after installing energy and water conservation upgrades, such as high-efficiency lighting, plumbing retrofits, window film, vending machine controllers, sewage flow meters, ventilation improvements, and boiler controllers. These upgrades cut our annual energy use by 9%, peak demand by 500 kilowatts and water use by 4.3 million gallons in 2005. In September 2005, Vice President for Finance Peter Michell committed the College to helping California achieve a 20% reduction in energy consumption in nonresidential buildings by 2015, and to voluntary energy reduction when supplies are tight.
Carpooling: A carpooling bulletin board on the College's website helps students, faculty, and staff alleviate parking problems on campus, reduce pollution, conserve energy — and save money.

Students are engaged in a variety of sustainability projects. For example, service-learning courses in the Communication Department and the Liberal and Civic Studies Program provide opportunities for students to study the College's environmental impact and to explore more sustainable alternatives:
Students discovered that harmful polystyrene products were used by Sodexho, the College food service. They persuaded Sodexho's director to use sugar cane-based alternatives when possible.
A similar student project resulted in a switch to fair trade coffee at the student union.
On Nov. 16, 2005, (National Recycling Day) students organized a buffet of fresh organic foods and distributed reusable drink mugs in Oliver Hall.
The College's first "Bike-to-School Day" took place April 27, 2006. A similar event is scheduled for April 2007.

Students organized a recycling contest in Augustine Hall, awarding a prize to the floor that recycled the most glass, paper and plastic. Over eight weeks, the winning floor averaged nearly 10 pounds of recyclable material per student.

"Project Green" is a new initiative this semester involving more than two dozen students in plans to expand recycling to other residence halls, work with Sodexo to reduce waste, and provide more locally grown, organic food in the dining hall.

The College sustainability website is at sustainsmc.stmarys-ca.edu

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.