Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 63.09
Liaison Elida Erickson
Submission Date April 17, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of California, Santa Cruz
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.25 / 5.00 Elida Erickson
Sustainability Director
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,525 Tons 481 Tons
Materials composted 649.30 Tons 0 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 79 Tons 414 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,384.60 Tons 2,782 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 7,889 6,088
Number of residential employees 304 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 16,840 14,646
Full-time equivalent of employees 3,910 3,515
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, 2013 June 30, 2014
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 June 30, 2005

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

It matches the baseline used for prior reporting purposes.


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

UCSC has conducted three official campus-wide waste audits to date: in 2010, 2012 and 2014. In the most recent audit in 2014, the full contents of 49 dumpsters were sampled and sorted by teams of 12-20 students and staff to determine what percentage of the refuse stream (by weight) needs to be diverted from the landfill. The team consulted with a UCSC faculty statistician to ensure the samples were randomized and to evaluate the quality of the final data. The results of all three waste audits to date are similar: about 1/3 of the waste to be diverted comprises compostable materials, and only about 10-15% of the contents of the dumpsters actually "needs" to go to the landfill.


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

We have reduced the number of deliveries to campus from Office Supply vendors and this has not only reduced packaging due to delivery consolidation but lowers CO2 emissions.

In addition, every purchase order issued includes the following language: ***Supplier: Please ship responsibly by ensuring your product and its packaging can be reused or recycled.***

We also apply our standard terms and conditions whenever possible. These terms include: ARTICLE 25 – ENVIRONMENTALLY PREFERABLE PRODUCTS. Supplier will use environmentally preferable products and services (i.e., products and services with a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment), to the maximum possible extent consistent with the Agreement. Information on environmentally preferable products and services is available at: http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/epp/. These terms cna be found at:http://www.ucop.edu/procurement-services/_files/uc-terms-and-conditions.pdf


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

The UCSC Receiving Services - Surplus Store resells used office supplies, furniture and other goods. The Surplus Store receives unwanted items and sells them as-is for reuse both within the campus as well as to the greater Santa Cruz community.


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

MyUCSC is UCSC's online academic information portal for students, faculty, and staff. Students use MyUCSC to enroll in classes, check their grades, view their financial aid and billing accounts, and update their personal information. Faculty can view and print their class rosters, email their classes, and post grades in MyUCSC. Staff use MyUCSC to view and update student information.


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

UCSC does not offer free printing in any of the computer labs or libraries.

Access to printing in Learning Technologies computer labs is automatically available to current UCSC students. Charges are automatically billed directly to students' UCSC accounts and will appear in their university bill (via student portal); no cards or cash are needed to print.


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

For the last six years we have had a move out waste reduction program that starts with late Fall Quarter education, late Spring Quarter swap events as well as containers available for donations during finals week (provided by Goodwill, Hope Services, 2nd Harvest Food Back and University bins for items sent to Homeless Services). Throughout Spring Quarter residents are encouraged to take items home early, recycle extra items early and when they are done with finals - take the rest home.


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:

Dining Services conducts regular post-consumer food waste audits in all 5 dining hall locations. A team of students tables near the dish collection area, scrapes all plates with uneaten food remaining and weighs the contents to come up with a pounds per person of food waste figure to communicate to dining hall guests for educational purposes. Dining's educational messaging includes slogans such as "Be a taster, not a waster" and "Take what you'll eat, and eat what you take".


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:

Dining Services is currently piloting 1 service location in the "Lean Path" program to educate staff on food preparation waste reduction.


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

"“Trayless” dining: in 2008 the trays were removed from the dining halls, which has resulted in reducing overall waste by 35%, as well as reducing cleaning water usage by 1,000,000 gallons per year."


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):

UCSC Dining initiated a reusable to-go container program in 2010-2011. Please see website for details.


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):

All dine-in service ware is reusable in all 5 campus dining halls operated by Dining Services, including cutlery, plates and cups. Dining's "to-go" program requires the purchase of a re-usable container.


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:

Bring your own mug to PERK Coffee Bars, buy 7 coffee drinks and your 8th drink is FREE with our Bring Your Own Mug coffee card. UC Santa Cruz has diverted over 24,000 disposable cups and bottles from the landfill.

We do offer discounts to customers who use their own mugs. We have two programs actually. One, is if you bring you own mug to get coffee at the PERK stations--after 7 purchases in their own mug they get a free drink. The other ties into the new reusable bottles we're selling. If you bring in one of Dining's reusable water bottles to one of the retail locations you get $0.50 off the price of a fountain soda. You get $0.10 off if you have a different kind of reusable water bottle.


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:

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.