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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 51.71
Liaison Jeffrey Severin
Submission Date July 17, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Kansas
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.36 / 5.00 Jeff Severin
Director
KU Center for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 719.66 Tons 580.66 Tons
Materials composted 539.98 Tons 74 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 213.70 Tons 0 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 4,233.96 Tons 5,482.23 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 5,054 5,126
Number of residential employees 0 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 22,327 23,938
Full-time equivalent of employees 5,342 4,572.55
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 152 0

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, 2004 June 30, 2005

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

The year 2005 was the original baseline used by our university for our first STARS submission. We feel that using 2005 provides us with a consistent means of assessing our progress.


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:

KU Surplus provides removal service for reusable furniture and office equipment on the University of Kansas (Lawrence campus) free of charge in accordance with the KU Surplus Property Recycling Procedure. By working with campus departments and local non-profits we are able to redistribute surplus that would otherwise be discarded.

In addition, the KU Center for Sustainability organized the first annual office supply swap held April 19, 2011, to redistribute office supplies that weren't being used. The program has continued to help redistribute campus mail envelopes.


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

Through our required contract with Staples, we are able to access right-sized packaging for all office supply orders.


A brief description of any limits on paper and ink consumption employed by the institution:
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A brief description of any programs employed by the institution to reduce residence hall move-in/move-out waste:

The Center for Sustainability works with the Department of Student Housing and area non-profit organizations to collect and redistribute things that would otherwise end up in the waste stream. In the spring of 2014 the program collected and redistributed 6,100 lbs. of clothing, shoes, towels, and bedding, 1,534 lbs. of food, over 1000 pieces of furniture and personal items, and more than 5,000 pounds of clothing.


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:

Through our menu management system, CBORD, we utilize waste tracking programs associated with the procurement/inventory/spoilage/usage records to aid in assessing food overproduction and pre-consumer food waste to help in reducing percentage of overall food waste per unit.


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:

As noted above, information is tracked in CBORD. Spoilage amounts are recorded and submitted to the business office.


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

Trayless dining was implemented in all of our residential dining centers in 2008. The results of trayless dining showed a significant decrease in post-consumer waste: 32% reduction in food waste; 52% in beverages; 13% in paper (mainly napkins/straws). We remain tray free service at all three residential dining centers throughout the year.

As of fall 2013, our four main residential dining locations (one being a retail hybrid) are part of our composting program, diverting approx. 500 tons of compostable materials from the landfill annually. These reports are provided monthly per unit by our compost company, Missouri Organics. This change has resulted in significant decrease of fees paid for city sanitation expenses to the landfill, decreasing overall costs by approximately 60%.


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):

KU Dining Service's residential dining centers, providing meal for about 3800 residents with dining plans, uses all reusable cups, glasses, china or melamine dishware and stainless knives/forks/spoons in all three dining center locations.

Our "Cuisine to go" program provides disposable food/beverage containers that are recyclable, biodegradable and/or compostable.


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):

KU Dining Services's residential dining centers, providing meals for about 3860 residents with dining plans, uses all reusable cups, glasses, china or melamine dishware and stainless knives/forks/spoons in all three dining center locations. Our "Cuisine to go" program provides disposable food/beverage containers that are recyclable, biodegradable and/ or 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:

Guests can purchase a discounted Hot/cold beverage container from KU Dining Services 19 retail locations and get a refill at the discounted price. They can bring their own clean beverage container for either hot or cold drinks and get them at the refill prices. They can also receive a discount for coffee drinks using the reusable hot/cold cup at any of our 5 self-branded PULSE coffee shops.


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

KU Dining Services participates in the KU campus Center for Sustainability Green Office campaign, our business offices are listed as a level II green office.


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.