Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.39
Liaison Shane Stennes
Submission Date Dec. 15, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
1.69 / 5.00 August Horner
Sustainability Student Asst
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 2,018.10 Tons 2,176.40 Tons
Materials composted 1,610.20 Tons 362.80 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 449.20 Tons 152.30 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 5,298.90 Tons 6,501.40 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 6,975 6,577
Number of residential employees 18 18
Number of in-patient hospital beds 1,932 1,932
Full-time equivalent enrollment 45,291.65 44,394.24
Full-time equivalent of employees 18,475 17,053
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 596 88

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, 2007 June 30, 2008

A brief description of when and why the waste generation baseline was adopted:
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A brief description of any (non-food) waste audits employed by the institution:

Periodically and inline with pilot and new program roll-outs, waste audits in specific buildings or areas are conducted to determine baseline data and make comparisions to during different phases of the pilot or new program roll-out. For example, organics collections throughout buildings on campus is rolled out building by building and waste audits are conducted periodically.


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

In practice, the objective is to purchase products that have reduced environmental impact because of the way they are made, transported, stored, packed, used and disposed. When determining whether a product is environmentally preferable, the following standards should be considered:

Available locally
Bio Based
Biodegradable
Carcinogen-free
Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) free
Compostable
Durable, reusable or refillable
Energy and water efficient
Heavy metal free (i.e. no lead, mercury, cadium)
Low toxicity
Low volatile organic compound (VOC) content
Made from renewable products
Persistent, Bioaccumulative Toxic (PBT) free
Post consumer content
Recycled Content/recyclable
Reduced greehouse gas emissions
Reduced packaging
Refurbished/refurbishable


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

The University of Minnesota ReUse Program collects surplus office furniture, supplies, equipment and parts from throughout the Twin Cities Campus and makes them available to University departments or individuals for purchase. Some of the services the Reuse program performs are as follows ...

RELIEVES 250 University buildings of unwanted materials, fixtures and supplies.
REDISTRIBUTES furniture & equipment valued at over $200,000 to U of M departments each year.
RESELLS a never-ending variety of items to the general public each Thursday.
RECYCLES unwanted steel, aluminum, wood, cardboard & paper.
REDUCES campus construction waste that would otherwise end up at the landfill.


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

A print conservation tip sheet was created and shared across the University on how to print duplex, minimize margins, converting to PDF, and other useful printing tips. The online publication is available here: http://www.tc.umn.edu/~mitc0186/Green/GTnews2.pdf


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

Faculty and staff are asked to follow print conservation tips and to print only when needed.


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

The University of Minnesota ReUse Program started “Pack & Give Back” in May of 2013, an initiative aimed at reducing waste generated by students moving at the beginning and end of each semester. The University of Minnesota partners with a non-profit organization to help facilitate on- and off-campus pick-up routes for reusable items that might otherwise end up in landfills. This event targets students, but is open to all residents in the Marcy-Holmes, Southeast Como, Prospect Park, and Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods*.
Items collected on campus by the ReUse Program, or brought to the ReUse warehouse by students and neighborhood residents, will be part of the program's "Free Store". Based out of the ReUse warehouse (883 29th Avenue SE), all items in the Free Store will be offered free of charge to students from August 25th to September 6th. Residents of neighborhoods Marcy-Holmes, Southeast Como, Cedar-Riverside, and Prospect Park may also shop the Free Store during the last week of the sale if they have made a donation.
Since it's inception, the Pack and Give Back program has diverted over 300k pounds of household items from landfills, and back to students and the neighborhood.


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

The University of Minnesota has partnered with Relan a mother-daughter run, WBENC certified woman-owned, small business, offering ways to repurpose and remarket used billboards, banners (vinyl, mesh, and fabric) after they have served their initial purpose, to engage customers, fans, and employees and reach target markets through new channels. Relan encourages clients to be innovative in choosing their fan and customer engagement products, promotional products, gifts, and giveaways by maintaining control over their branding and expanding their thinking to become leaders in reducing their environmental impact.


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

University Dining Services utilizes a waste minimization program that focuses on minimizing waste from what they refer to as “end-to-end” taking into account all steps of food production including menu planning, forecasting, ordering/receiving, production and service. Throughout this process all food waste back of house is collected, weighed and tracked. Each month an audit of the waste totals, as well as inventory measures and ordering/receiving documents are both self-audited as well as audited/ scored by management.


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:

University Dining Services utilizes a waste minimization program that focuses on minimizing waste from what they refer to as “end-to-end” taking into account all steps of food production including menu planning, forecasting, ordering/receiving, production and service. Throughout this process all food waste back of house is collected, weighed and tracked as well as audited and scored monthly by management staff. In addition to these practices training's are provided regularly to educate staff both on the importance of reducing food waste as well as tips for improving their practices.


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

University Dining Services conducts a “Weigh the Waste” campaign each academic semester. The waste audit measures post-consumer plate waste within all seven residential restaurants. The audit is conducted in front of customers and separates plate waste into four categories: edible (anything that could have been eaten), inedible (banana peels, chicken bones, etc), beverage and trash (napkins, straws, etc). The results are totaled by category and overall for the course of a week and are shared with staff and guests. With each campaign Dining Services works with their management and green team to incorporate awareness and engagement at each event with food waste facts and a display of the amount of food that is wasted on average per meal at each restaurant.


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):

University Dining Services provides a reusable to go container for use in all residential restaurants, as well as two retail restaurants. Certified compostable to go containers and cups are used in all three food courts and in all retail restaurants that offer compost collection (which make up over 80% of our retail locations). Dining Services catering department utilizes both reusable service ware and offers certified compostable packaging for drop off events.


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):

University Dining Services uses reusable service ware in all seven dine in residential restaurants as well as several of our sit down restaurants. Certified compostable to go containers and cups are used in all three food courts and in all retail restaurants that offer compost collection (which make up over 80% of our retail locations). Dining Services catering department utilizes both reusable service ware and offers certified compostable packaging for drop off events. Our football stadium utilizes certified compostable packaging for all events.


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:

University Dining Services encourages reusable mugs at our coffee sites and provides between a ten to twenty five cent discount depending on location towards customers beverage purchase for using their reusable mug.


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

University Dining Services has partnered on an initiative titled beyond beauty that is researching and piloting the use of imperfect produce allowing farmers to harvest and have a market for produce that may have been damaged by weather or pest related incidents, but is still usable.


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.