Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 31.22
Liaison Morgan Hartman
Submission Date Jan. 23, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Nebraska - Lincoln
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.15 / 5.00 Matan Gill
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Management & Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 2,765 Tons 692 Tons
Materials composted 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 67 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 2,688 Tons 2,840 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 8,347 8,034
Number of residential employees 0 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 22,393 20,054
Full-time equivalent of employees 3,803 3,372
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 1,084 746

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Jan. 1, 2012 Dec. 31, 2012
Baseline Year July 1, 2005 June 1, 2005

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


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

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

UNL Procurement Services pursues the promotion, development and procurement of environmentally preferred goods and services whenever possible. Procurement Services will work with departments, employees, contractors and vendors alike to seek out and provide resources and information that will enable our customers to make informed purchasing decisions, while promoting environmental stewardship.

UNL Procurement Services is committed to buying more environmentally preferable goods and services as long as they meet our performance needs and they are available within a reasonable period of time at a reasonable cost. By including environmental considerations in our procurement decisions, along with our traditional concerns with price, performance and availability, we will remain fiscally responsible while promoting products and services that have a reduced effect on human health and the environment.

UNL’s “Green Purchasing” strategy is to develop policies consistent with the following:

1. Minimize the consumption of natural resources by reviewing current and proposed future usage and evaluating the pros and cons of alternatives.
2. Seek alternatives to products and processes that are detrimental to the environment by using more “environmentally friendly” products and processes.
3. Minimize waste, including any packaging, waste produced by the product (or service) in questions, and waste generated by the eventual disposal of the product.
4.Maximize the reuse and recycling of materials.
Stimulate demand for “environmentally friendly” products by letting manufacturers and suppliers know the environmental performance we are looking for in products.

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

UNL Inventory Department disposes property by transferring it to a different department or institution, trading it in, though public sales, or by salvaging it. More information about UNL Inventory can be found at: http://inventory.unl.edu/

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

Both the Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletins are solely published online and not in print.

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

UNL encourages all copiers to be set to make double-sided copies as the default if they have the capacity.

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

UNL provides extra donation and recycling containers for students during the move-out periods. They also partner with organizations such as Goodwill make sure materials are recovered and put back to good use.

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

UNL each department pays for their waste thus giving them more of an incentive to reduce.

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

In 2011 UNL hired a consultant study food waste on campus. The purposes of the study were to:
-define the potential bio-waste sources in terms of quantity and characteristics of the waste generated;
-Provide a general review of available materials conveyance techniques and processing requirements for the bio-waste;
-Provide an opinion of probable costs for the construction, operations, and maintenance of the most technically feasible delivery and pre-processing options;
-Provide a comparative economic analysis of the project options.

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:

Dinning Services does not have programs in place to track and reduce pre-consumer food waste.

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

Trayless dining was implemented at the university in spring 2009 and is still being used. Students are provided different sized bowls and plates. Trays are used only in instances of special need.

Additionally the recently launch, Love Food Hate Waste campaign aims to encourage students to waste less food.

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):

UNL Dinning offers limited to-go options.

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):

There are no provisions for reusable 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:

With minimal to-go food options, UNL does not offer discounts for reusable mugs.

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

The Love Food Hate Waste campaign aims to lower the amount of food thrown away by student residents in the dining halls.

Through a combination of educational materials in the dining halls and in the residence halls, alongside a competition/raffle based on student pledges to reduce food waste, the programs sets to raise awareness of food waste, and encourage students to consider reducing their personal food waste. Educational materials included table tents and window clings on the sneezeguards in the dining halls, as well as posters in the residence hall floors and elevator lobbies. The raffle/pledge competition gave the students the opportunity to win gift cards from local restaurants.

The competition is a partnership between UNL Dinning Services and the Association for Students of the University of Nebraska.

The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Demographic information gathered from irp.unl.edu

Demographic information gathered from irp.unl.edu

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.