Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.35
Liaison Christa Rieck
Submission Date Nov. 23, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Houston
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.99 / 5.00 Gabriel Durham
Graduate assistant
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 758.80 Tons 598.36 Tons
Materials composted 240 Tons 310 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 3,461.85 Tons 2,738.19 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 5,783 5,178
Number of residential employees 15 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 39,387 39,554
Full-time equivalent of employees 4,944 4,845
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 Sept. 1, 2013 Aug. 31, 2014
Baseline Year Sept. 1, 2011 Aug. 31, 2012

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

FY11 was chosen as the baseline year as this was the first year the University started keeping accurate separate records for recycling and general waste disposal.


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

Waste Management performed a waste audit in 2014 of UH's trash and commingled recycling streams.


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:

Most everything is included on the UH website and materials are shared electronically whenever possible. Staff are encouraged to use electronic signatures to reduce paper usage. Course schedules, catalogs and directories are all exclusively online.


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:

Several residence halls participate in a recycling or donation program during move out.


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:
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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:

The University of Houston has the first Campus Kitchens program in Texas. Students take unused food from the two dining halls on campus, store the food in the Hilton College and donate it to Star of Hope. The students are all Safe Serve certified and follow the practices set forth in that certification. Aramark tracks all pre-consumer food waste.


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

The two campus dining halls have a reusable to-go container program and reusable mug program.


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):

Catering can provide compostable materials upon request and after each sustainability sponsored event, those materials are composted in the garden's compost piles. Additionally both campus dining halls only provide reusable dining service-ware.


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:

Compostable containers are offered in the dining halls for a fee. The reusable containers require a small deposit which is credited back to the user's account at the end of the semester.


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:

Items recycled in the waste diversion and waste minimization sections differ because the baseline year data only accounts for single-stream recycling (as well as cardboard and scrap metal).

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.