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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.19
Liaison Ali Dutton
Submission Date May 13, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Florida International University
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.09 / 5.00 Alexandra Dutton
Program Manager
Office of University Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 2,561 Tons 1,784 Tons
Materials composted 0 Tons 0 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 8.62 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 7,285 Tons 6,907 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 3,195 2,771
Number of residential employees 7 7
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 30,411 28,947
Full-time equivalent of employees 5,914.50 5,031
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 7,220 5,371

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2014 June 30, 2015
Baseline Year July 1, 2011 June 30, 2012

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

FY 2012 (July 2011 - June 2012) is used as the baseline year because it is the first full year that recycling data was available for the university.


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

As a state institution, all state owned property not in use is inventoried and taken to surplus. Employees can visit the warehouse for furniture and equipment needs for their office. The surplus warehouse is located on the Modesto Maidique Campus and is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:00 A.M. until 3:30 P.M. A notice of available surplus is updated and listed on the university's controllers website.

Visiting or checking surplus items available prior to purchasing new office furniture is one of the requirements in the Green Office Certification Program. We hope through this program, that offices get in the habit of checking surplus before purchasing new items. There are many offices on campus that check surplus regularly.


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

FIU's course catalog is only available online. Students can look through the course catalog and register for classes on their personalized myFIU accounts. Students schedules are also delivered electronically through myFIU. There are kiosks located around campus where students can look up their schedule if needed. Academic departments are also helping to decrease the amount of paper printed by making their syllabi available online in the departmental webpages.

The FIU Phonebook (who.fiu.edu) is also only available online and employees are encouraged not to print.


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

None of the campus computer labs have free printing. In order to print in a computer lab or copy center at FIU, students must have funds on their PantherOne cards or purchase a visitor copy card.

FIU's Student Government Association does have a program during finals week each year that offers free printing to students in the GC computer labs. There is however a maximum page limit.


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

Give and GoGreen is a waste reduction and charity donation program during student housing move-out week at the end of Spring semester. Students donate unwanted usable items to Goodwill trailers that are temporarily placed around the Housing Quad during that week. It is a collaborative program between Office of University Sustainability, Housing Facilities, and Housing & Residential Life. This program began in 2011 and now it is a part of the move-out culture on campus. In 2014 a non-perishable food collection was also added to the program that benefits the FIU Food Pantry.

In Spring 2015, 17,232 pounds of items were donated to Goodwill and kept out of a landfill.


A brief description of any other (non-food) waste minimization strategies employed by the institution:
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A brief description of any food waste audits employed by the institution:
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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:
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A brief description of programs and/or practices to track and reduce post-consumer food waste:

Since 2008, FIU dining areas have been trayless. An Aramark study of 186,000 meals at 25 colleges and universities found a 25% - 30% reduction in food waste per person on trayless days. Other benefits include saving one-third to one-half gallon of water per tray. Reducing chemicals, detergents and drying agents used to wash trays. Lastly conserving energy by eliminating the need to heat water for tray washing.


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):

Currently FIU has a mandatory reusable to-go container program for students in the residence halls dining program at the Fresh Food Company, plus an optional program at Grilleworks and Pollo Tropical. Any customer can receive a reusable to-go container with a $4 refundable deposit. Once used the container can be returned at Fresh Food Company, Pollo Tropical or GrilleWorks, without having to be clean. Dining services will do the sanitizing. Upon returning, customers can then choose between a container card that can be redeemed for a container in the future or they can get a clean reusable container. The refundable deposit is returned when the container in brought to the Fresh Food Company in usable condition at the end of the year.


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):
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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:
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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:
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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.