Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.19
Liaison Justin Mog
Submission Date Feb. 13, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Louisville
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.26 / 5.00 Aaron Boggs
Asst Dir Phys Plant Maint
Physical Plant
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 2,304.15 Tons 904.70 Tons
Materials composted 439.60 Tons 3 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 96.70 Tons 10 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,835.40 Tons
+ Date Revised: May 10, 2016
2,185.70 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 5,224 3,161
Number of residential employees 0 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 18,779 16,483
Full-time equivalent of employees 6,342 5,949
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 1,525 0

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Jan. 1, 2014 Dec. 31, 2014
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2006 Dec. 31, 2006

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

UofL began carefully tracking recycling and landfillled wastes at this time.

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

We do regular visual audits of our compactors, dumpsters, and outdoor trash cans in partnership with our recycling contractor, QRS. Students in the environmental group, GRASS, as well as youth participating in UofL's Environmental Youth Summit have also done dumpster dive audits involving sorting and weighing wastes.

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

From UofL's Green Purchasing Policy:
Suppliers of electronic equipment, including but not limited to computers, monitors, printers, and copiers, shall be required to take back equipment for reuse or environmentally safe recycling when deemed appropriate by UofL.
Products that are durable, long lasting, reusable or refillable are preferred whenever feasible.
All documents (by UofL and Suppliers) shall be printed and copied on both sides to reduce the use and purchase of paper, whenever practical.
Packaging that is reusable, recyclable or compostable is preferred, when suitable uses and programs exist and eliminate packaging or use the minimum amount necessary for product protection, to the greatest extent practicable.

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

The University has a surplus program that makes all unwanted items available to other units and every quarter unclaimed items are sold at public auction.

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

Currently all UofL course catalogs, course schedules, and directories are provided online only.

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

There is no free printing for UofL students. All printing must be paid for by the individual. The university has also implemented "shared printing" in many departments across all campuses. Many departments have also defaulted to double-sided printing practices.

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

At the end of the year, students are encouraged to exchange useful items like electronics, office supplies, furniture, clothing and more through a "Give & Go" program in coordination with Goodwill Industries and a "Lighten Your Load" one-day Swap Shop hosted by Campus Housing. Items are collected via bins in the lobby of every residence hall throughout the final weeks of the academic year. In addition, in 2013, UofL opened a permanent year-round Free Store staffed by volunteers in Unitas Hall.

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

In 2013, the Sustainability Council convened a new committee to take our existing programs to the next level. Phase I of our “Mini Bin” Garbage Reduction and Single Stream Recycling program are in place and the program has been the major factor in increasing recycling rates across the University, particularly in the areas of cardboard, paper, aluminum, glass and plastic. While the numbers have increased every year since the program’s inception in 2009, there are areas that need to be improved, including:

Promotion of recycling programs - increasing awareness, understanding of program, individual prompts to increase recycling
Changing University-wide culture to normalize recycling through behavioral change and institutional change
Improving current methods and discovering new opportunities to reuse items University-wide
Developing university-wide goals and systems to measure progress and provide feedback to the University community
Custodial staff training, development of policies regarding waste disposal, performance review standards, etc.
Identification of specific waste streams that can be minimized or eliminated, including modifications in purchasing habits
Recycling at special events, including sports venues, conferences, catering, other large events
Expanding pre- and post-consumer food waste composting

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

UofL Dining hosts an annual "Weigh The Waste" lunchtime campaign to raise awareness at The Ville Grill during UofL Sustainability Week. During lunch on one day last year, 198 pounds of food waste was collected for composting!

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:

In 2012, the University contracted with Blue Skies Recycling (now QRS Recycling) to collect pre-consumer food waste from dining locations. The first year, over 120 tons were diverted from the landfill. In the performance year (2014), the University diverted 180 tons from the landfill.

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

Our first residential dining facility opened in the summer of 2010 and provides no trays to diners. This all-you-care-to-eat facility provides plated meals that are carried back to tables without trays. In 2013, a program was started to collect post-consumer food waste from select Campus Housing locations. In addition, in 2015 a program was implemented where volunteers in the SAC food court helped sort waste and food at trash stations during Summer Orientation sessions and other special events.

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 new Cardinal Burger Company on the second level of the Student Activities Center not only features local food and grass-fed, hormone- & antibiotics-free beef, but everything CBC serves and everything it is served on is compostable! When the CBC first opened in the fall of 2013, we experimented with having a compost bin available to customers, but we had to discontinue that program because of constant contamination with landfill trash.

A new to-go program was implemented in Fall 2015 at the Ville Grill using reusable containers that participants are instructed to return to the dining hall to for cleaning and exchange.

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):

We offer trayless dining with real plates, glasses, and silverware at The Ville Grill, our all-you-care-to-eat dining hall at 3rd & Brandeis, open to all students, employees and the public. This helps to reduce the amount of trash produced and food wasted (our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs!), as well as the resources that would be used to wash the trays.

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:

Reusable mugs and bottles are available for purchase from dining services and customers are permitted to bring their own mugs from home. Any reusable mug can be refilled at any dining services fountain location for a discount price of 99 cents.

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

1. Zero-Waste Reusable To-Go Club: In Fall 2015, we launched a brand new take-out service in truly sustainable style – without adding to the waste stream!! Students, faculty and staff can purchase a Ville Grill To-Go Club membership in person at The Ville Grill for just $9.99. Membership earns you a reusable container, unlimited washing of the container, and compostable cutlery & napkins, should you need them.
2. When available, we donate left-over food to The Lord’s Kitchen and Wayside Christian Mission. Once a year, Sodexo sponsors an event called Helping Hands that raises awareness about hunger and accepts student donations for our local food bank. Last year students and faculty at the university teamed-up to donate nearly 7,000 pounds of food to Dare to Care.
3. We are working with Food Recovery Network (likely in the spring) which would replace the food drive with Dare to Care.

The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

"The number of students living in any residence hall or housing
facility that is owned or controlled by the institution and
within the institutional boundary." At the time of submission
that number was 2,639 as reported. OP 22 does not make explicit
how the "Number of residential students" is defined, but since
this credit is about waste generation, we reported the number of
residential students for whom we are collecting waste. This
includes some housing facilities that the university does not
own, hence the higher student number. Since their waste is
included in our tonnage numbers, it seemed most appropriate to
count them here.

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.