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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 51.12
Liaison Matthew Williams
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Florida
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.81 / 5.00 Liz Storn
Program Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 2,409.14 Tons 2,781.10 Tons
Materials composted 4,183.82 Tons 3,451.60 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 160.22 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 8,714.11 Tons 11,571 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 8,491 8,202
Number of residential employees 4 4
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 46,302.50 44,967.50
Full-time equivalent of employees 13,889.01 12,126
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 7,690.02 368

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, 2004 June 30, 2005

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

FY 2004/2005 was chosen both because it is required for the Sierra Cool Schools submittal, and it was used for the previous submissions to AASHE STARS.


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

Waste audits of the University’s MSW were conducted in 2009 and 2014. A mini-audit of the MSW from the Reitz Union was performed in December 2014 to determine whether post-consumer composting from the food court would be feasible.


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

The UF Sustainable Purchasing Directive requires all UF personnel to purchase recycled and environmentally preferable products whenever practicable; purchase hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles; provide recycling containers within a reasonable distance of soda machines and in dining establishments; promote the use of recycled and other environmentally preferable products; and make efforts to secure contracts with vendors that are socially and environmentally conscientious, and certified green whenever practicable.


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

The UF Surplus Warehouse facilitates asset transfers to and from each department, and transfers between departments. Additionally, items not transferred between departments are offered to the public by auction. Finally, items not purchased through auctions are donated or responsibly disposed of. Assets can include computers, projectors, printers, automobiles, bikes and a varied array of scientific equipment.

There is a Property Swap listerv that is used to find a home for unneeded UF furniture. This listserv is open to all staff. Postings on the web site should include a description of the items and a picture if possible. Any furniture acquired through this web site must continue to serve the UF community and is not available for personal or private use.

There is a listserve and a "swap-meet" website for exchange of materials below the asset threshold and for interoffice exchange before pickup by Asset Management.


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

Course catalogs and schedules are all available online where they are easily accessed rather than handing out new, updated catalogs each semester.


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

Each student has a limit of 250 pages of free prints per year at the student union computer lab. All other labs on campus charge a fee per page printed.


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

Since 1990, the University of Florida Department of Housing & Residence Education Recycling & Sustainability Committee has sponsored the Spring Check-Out Recycling Project.

Donations of non-perishable food, clothes, small appliances, new and used school supplies, and electronics are in residence hall lobby areas during the academic year check-out process. Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, The Outreach Center of Gainesville, Haven Hospice, and Bread of the Mighty Food Bank.

The goals of the project are three-fold: to assist local charitable agencies; to reduce the amount of usable items deposited in the local landfill during this period; and to assist residents moving from residence halls. Based on past experience, an average of approximately $10 - $50 worth of usable items will be donated by each of 7,400 campus residents. Of equal importance, approximately 4 to 5 tons of usable items collected will not be deposited in the Alachua County landfills.

During Move-In, the Department of Housing Building Services staff is tasked with collecting the thousands of empty used boxes from residence hall floors, grounds, dumpster areas, and trash chute areas for recycling. Extra paper bins and dumpsters are requested to support this expanded recycling program for move-in week.


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:

Aramark/Gator Dining Services in conjunction with our waste hauler has conducted waste audits to understand the spread of refuse in our facilities. We look at waste in terms of volumes and mass to iteratively improve on our operational efficiency.


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:

Gator Dining Services tracks food products from the moment it enters our facilities upon receiving to the point at which it is consumed or deemed as refuse. We track, weigh and itemize refuse into three categories (production waste, service waste and storage waste). This process allows us to further analyze and understand sources of waste and areas of intervention. This process is called, “End to End” food waste management and it helps Gator Dining continuously improve our business by not only saving money, but conserving valuable resources and minimizing the impact of our services to the university and community.


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

Gator Dining Services uses a variety of programs to track and reduce post-consumer waste. With the help of our waste hauler, we track the weight of post-consumer waste and tailor marketing programs, implemented trayless dining, and other various outreach initiatives to sensitize our population.


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):

Gator Dining Services offers reusable to-go containers for food from Gator Corner and Fresh Food Company. After a $4 deposit, students are provided with a reusable container. Customers can then return the container for washing and receive a new one.

Compostable to-go containers are also available at Gator Corner and Fresh Food Company. Most vendors in the Reitz Union Food Court also offer compostable containers, although post-consumer composting is not yet available at the Reitz Union Food Court or readily across campus.

Customers can purchase a Gator Dining Services branded reusable cup at any of the dining locations on campus, and use it to get $0.99 discount on fountain beverages.


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):

All dining locations with to-go options have certified compostable service ware containers. Gator Dining is in the process of converting all “dine-in” service ware to compostable.


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:

Gator Dining Services offers a discount of $0.25 for using a reusable mug and runs a $0.99 promotion for fountain beverage refills using a Gator Dining Services branded reusable cup.


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:

Performance year is FY 2014-15.

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.