Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.45
Liaison Justin Mog
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Louisville
OP-18: Waste Minimization and Diversion

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.62 / 8.00 Greg Schetler
Grounds Superintendent
Physical Plant
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total waste generated (and diverted):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,920.17 Tons 904.70 Tons
Materials composted 663.80 Tons 3 Tons
Materials donated or re-sold 15.90 Tons 10 Tons
Materials disposed through post-recycling residual conversion 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 1,281.80 Tons 2,185.70 Tons
Total waste generated 3,881.67 Tons 3,103.40 Tons

A brief description of the residual conversion facility:


Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Period Jan. 1, 2021 Dec. 31, 2021
Baseline Period 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.

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 3,184 3,161
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 18,397 16,483
Full-time equivalent of employees 6,566 5,949
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1,315 0
Weighted campus users 18,532 17,614.25

Total waste generated per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total waste generated per weighted campus user 0.21 Tons 0.18 Tons

Percentage reduction in total waste generated per weighted campus user from baseline:

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator by recycling, composting, donating or re-selling, performance year:

Percentage of materials diverted from the landfill or incinerator (including up to 10 percent attributable to post-recycling residual conversion):

In the waste figures reported above, has the institution recycled, composted, donated and/or re-sold the following materials?:
Yes or No
Paper, plastics, glass, metals, and other recyclable containers Yes
Food Yes
Cooking oil Yes
Plant materials Yes
Animal bedding Yes
White goods (i.e. appliances) Yes
Electronics Yes
Laboratory equipment Yes
Furniture Yes
Residence hall move-in/move-out waste Yes
Scrap metal Yes
Pallets Yes
Tires Yes
Other (please specify below) Yes

A brief description of other materials the institution has recycled, composted, donated and/or re-sold:

> Construction / Demolition Debris: A significant percentage of UofL's total waste stream in recent years has been the concrete, bricks, metal, and drywall produced by campus construction and demolition projects.
> Laboratory chemicals through Chemical Exchange Program (CHEMEX)
> Reusable items (though the UofL Free Store): clothing, shoes, electronics, small appliances, household items, bath & beauty supplies, books, school & art supplies,

Materials intended for disposal but subsequently recovered and reused on campus, performance year:

Does the institution use single stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Does the institution use dual stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Does the institution use multi-stream recycling to collect standard recyclables in common areas?:

Average contamination rate for the institution’s recycling program:

A brief description of any recycling quality control mechanisms employed:

A brief description of the institution's waste-related behavior change initiatives:

As a part of "Ecolympics," UofL competes annually in the national RecycleMania competition to encourage recycling and waste reduction. RecycleMania is a friendly annual competition among college and university recycling programs in North America. During this 8 week period, UofL employees and students work across the entire university to reduce waste, increase recycling and raise awareness of conservation issues across campus. People are encouraged to post their green actions to social media and individuals are rewarded each week with gift cards to local sustainability businesses and the grand prize winner receives a bicycle.

UofL's efforts were spotlighted in the 3/29/12 RecycleMania Week 8 Bulletin: "The University of Louisville promoted RecycleMania in as many ways as they could; posting signs in residence halls, yard signs on campus, painting a window in the main dining facility and putting the competition on the campus news page. University of Louisville also took the opportunity to promote the competition during their basketball games, which are broadcasted nationally. A "Big Head" was purchased for students to hold up to promote recycling and the competition. The Green Committee served as Garbage Guards for a week during lunch in their main dining facility diverting students from the trash cans towards the recycling bins."

A brief description of the institution's waste audits and other initiatives to assess its materials management efforts and identify areas for improvement:

We do regular visual audits of our compactors, dumpsters, and outdoor trash cans in partnership with our recycling contractor, WestRock. 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 the institution's 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 the institution's 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 platforms to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and reuse:

In fall 2021, a new permanent home was found for the UofL Free Store in a convenient, central location in the Student Activities Center, down the hall from our campus food pantry, the Cardinal Cupboard. This was a long-awaited improvement for an initiative launched in fall 2013, when students in Group Recycling And Sustainable Solutions (GRASS) joined forces with the UofL Sustainability Council and Campus Housing to open a permanent Free Store in the basement of Unitas Hall. The UofL Free Store is a space for the on-going free exchange of clean, durable items like clothing, shoes, electronics, small appliances, household items, bath & beauty supplies, books, school & art supplies, non-perishable food, and more. Donations can be made any time in the red bins at the base of the driveway just east of Unitas, off Cardinal Blvd. In 2017 alone, the Free Store helped keep over 700 pounds of items out of the landfill! UofL promotes an inclusive environment for all, regardless of gender identity and/or gender expression. The Free Store is a Transgender-Friendly space. The store is run by volunteers and paid student workers and is open to all UofL students and employees set hours each week during the regular academic year.

A brief description of the institution's limits on paper and ink consumption:

There is no free printing for UofL students. All printing must be paid for by the individual. The university has also implemented "shared printing" across all campuses with central print stations that are defaulted to double-sided printing and only release the print job when the user comes to the station and requests release. This has significantly reduced errant and unnecessary consumption of ink and paper.

A brief description of the institution's initiatives 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 the institution's program 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 "Lighten Your Load" program in coordination with Goodwill Industries and a 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.

A brief description of the institution's programs or initiatives to recover and reuse other materials intended for disposal:

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

Website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization and diversion efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

In 2020:
-UofL recycled/composted/reused over 3.8 million pounds (55%) of our waste. UofL recycles Waste Cooking Oil from our dining facilities...
-With a new vendor, FiltaFry, we were able to increase our collection to 6,500 gallons!
-UofL recycled 176,485 pounds of paper through Shred-it (equivalent to 1500 trees!).
More information such as this can be found at https://louisville.edu/sustainability/operations/recycling

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.