Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 52.40
Liaison Cynthia Klein-Banai
Submission Date Sept. 11, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Illinois Chicago
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.84 / 5.00 Cynthia Klein-Banai
Associate Chancellor for Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 3,319.18 Tons 1,761.77 Tons
Materials composted 119.45 Tons 255.87 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 4,080.73 Tons 6,528.69 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 3,800 3,800
Number of residential employees 0 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 495 477
Full-time equivalent enrollment 27,589 27,850
Full-time equivalent of employees 10,924 10,781
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, 2006 June 30, 2007

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

The waste generation baseline chosen is from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007. This baseline was chosen because we wanted to compare our most recent data to that of the 2006-2007 Academic Year


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

In October 2011, the Office of Sustainability carried out waste audits of four buildings: an office building, a student center, a residence hall, and a building with labs and offices. The audit was a first step in establishing a baseline to figure out our current paper recycling rate.
We found percentage by weight of each type of paper, plastic, metal, aluminum, glass, and waste materials. We then compared the findings of the audit against the monthly recycling numbers. When we extrapolated the data from the waste audit to the overall campus waste stream, we found we have a paper recovery rate of 45%.


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:

The Office of Sustainability (OS) has held a Great Stuff Exchange (GSX) every semester for a number of years, and each semester it collected more office supplies than the previous event. In Earth Month, 2013, 165 boxes of materials were collected from over 20 departments, almost double the 95 boxes collected in fall 2012. Leftover supplies are now available in a new “free store” being run by OS.


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

UIC's course catalogs, course schedules and directories have been available online for several years now, but in 2009 it became policy not to print the course catalog, instead referring students to the online resource. The printed catalogs are readily available to academic advisers, however, due to the nature of their position. All registration is completed on-line as well. Students have access to an on-line course schedule through this portal. The Campus Directory is available free on-line from the UIC home page, although a printed version is made available for purchase by departments.


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

The U-Print system at UIC limits each student with fifteen dollar limits. There is also an incentive for double sided printing instead of single sided printing. Double sided is charged at three cents a page while a single sided sheet is priced at eight cents a page. The printers automatically default to 2-sided printing.


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

Salvation Army is invited to provide assistance collecting unwanted furniture, clothing and housewares. Also, recycling is promoted.


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

Office Furniture Surplus

Used equipment can be redistributed through the Property Accounting Office. Items are delivered to a warehouse for transfer to other university departments/units. This equipment cannot be redirected for personal and must be used solely for university business. At UIC, 1,112 items were redistributed from the surplus warehouse back to UIC units in FY13.

Office Electronics

Any electronic equipment belonging to the university - computers, monitors, peripherals, copiers, fax machines, lab equipment - must be disposed of through a recycler that manages the materials in an environmentally sound process.
In FY 2011, , the campus sent 7000 electronic pieces through the Surplus and Disposal system; in 2012, we raised that to almost 9000 pieces; and in 2013, 9,469 pieces. Also, as part of our annuel Campus Electronic Recycling Collection for the fall 2013 CERC, we collected 1,625 pounds of personal electronics as well. We will partner with student groups to do a personal electronic collection during spring 2014, and hope to make that an ongoing effort.


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

In November 2011, the Office of Sustainability performed an audit of food scraps in Dining Services in Student Center East (SCE). We did so with the intent of starting a food scrap collection for off campus composting. The scope covered collection of all kitchen food scraps and tray scraps by Sodexo, at that point the management vendor. This includes bones, bread, paper napkins, and all uneaten food. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were included. We partnered with the Resource Center, later to be awarded the contract for collection of food scraps on campus. The total volume of 2,217.5 lbs. of food scraps was collected that day. We were able to calculate the per capita weight of the scraps, and from that to project an estimate of weights of the collection over time.


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:

UIC Dining Services participates in a program called TrimTrax, where staff weighs and tracks the pre-consumer waste in the kitchens to put controls on those sources of waste. In addition, Dining Services composts all prep waste and post-consumer waste from the dining facilities. Any food that can that can be repurposed is and anything that isn't repurposed or composted gets donated through Dining Service's food recovery network.


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

Sodexo's trayless program began in November 2008 and based upon the feedback from the students, and a Weigh Your Waste event. All facilities in Dining Services are tray less, and signage throughout the facilities focus on only taking what you'll eat and coming back for me.


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):

Dining Service's to-go food and beverage containers are either biodegradable or are easily recyclable. Most packaging is made from eco-friendly vegetable starches, like corn or potatoes where it can then biodegrade quickly, leaving behind only carbon dioxide, biomass and water.


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):

Dining Service's does not participate in "to-go" meals other than "retail to-go"; in which compostable and biodegradable containers are used.


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:

The UIC Bookstores, UIC Convenience Stores and the UIC Student Centers Board are proud to provide customers with the opportunity to help preserve the environment. Each year the UIC Convenience Stores’ customers use over 100,000 paper coffee cups and together they can better preserve the environment by reducing paper cup usage.

* All UIC Convenience Stores are equipped with Sustainability Donation Containers
* When the customer uses their UIC Sustainable Mug they receive 20 oz for the price of a 16 oz large coffee.
* They will also be given a 5-cent token at the registers.
* The customer then places the token in the Sustainability Container for the environmentally friendly and non-profit organization of their choice:

* UIC Hospital Prairie Garden Project
* The Chicago Wilderness Consortium
* National Wildlife Federation


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.