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

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.93
Liaison Srinivasan Raghavan
Submission Date Feb. 24, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Missouri
OP-22: Waste Minimization

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.93 / 5.00 Alicia LaVaute
Sr. Recycling & Waste Minimization Specialist
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Waste generated::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Materials recycled 1,686.71 Tons 1,858.50 Tons
Materials composted 86 Tons 83.50 Tons
Materials reused, donated or re-sold 249.04 Tons 17 Tons
Materials disposed in a solid waste landfill or incinerator 5,950.14 Tons 6,100 Tons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 6,893 6,279
Number of residential employees 18 18
Number of in-patient hospital beds 5 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 30,865 25,089
Full-time equivalent of employees 9,071.90 8,665.10
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 1,785.80 1,259.10

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:

MU signed the ACUPCC in January 2009. The ACUPCC requires 2008 to be used as the baseline year for the University's Climate Action Plan. It made sense to use the same baseline year for waste generation.


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

In 2003 Waste Reduction Strategies conducted a solid waste audit at the University of Missouri - Columbia to determine what actions could be taken in order to reduce both the volume and cost of solid waste collected on campus. The purpose of the study was to determine what solid waste is currently generated, the composition of that waste, and explore ways to reduce that waste and the cost associated with the collection and disposal of that solid waste. Beyond that study done in 2003, the MU Sustainability Office does a variety of "mini audits" looking into the same factors of the sidewalk trash and recycling systems. A class taught in the School of Natural resources also does mini audits, called "Trash Bash" of campus trash and recycling. Recently, in 2013 a doctoral student did a waste audit on Red Campus.


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

The University of Missouri System came out with a Sustainable Office Shopping guide/brochure to help departments and offices make better choices when it comes to supply purchases, but it is not policy. The brochure promotes, High-Quality. Reusable. Durable. Efficient. Third Party Certified. Less Packaging. Better. By using the Show-Me Shop eProcurement tool. On the vendors’ “punch out” catalog sites, sustainable items are identified by an icon. Ordering through the Show-Me Shop saves time, money and energy. UM’s group purchasing contracts negotiate the best prices, paperwork costs are dramatically reduced and free delivery saves employees many miles. It’s also easier to compare environmentally preferred products and track our progress buying green products.
REDUCE FIRST
Consider whether the product is actually necessary before purchasing.
RECYCLED CONTENT
Choose products that have a high recycled content, if possible.
QUALITY & DURABILITY
Consider purchasing products that are designed to last or are easily upgraded.
EFFICIENCY
Try to choose products that make the best use of their source and create the least amount of waste at the end of their life.
MATERIALS
Try to find products that use or are made of natural or minimally processed materials.
LESS PACKAGING
Avoid products the need high levels of packaging to be shipped.
CHOICE OF VENDOR
Try to use the university’s preferred suppliers, or a supplier that is environmentally conscious about their product.
RECYCLABLE:
This product can be collected, separated, or recovered from the solid waste stream and used again.
RECYCLED CONTENT:
This product was made with recovered materials instead of virgin natural resources.
FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL:
This product is guaranteed to contain wood products harvested from a well-managed forest.
DESIGNED FOR THE ENVIRONMENT:
This product contains environmentally friendly ingredients as designated by the EPA.
GREEN SEAL:
This product has been reviewed for the environmental impacts tied to its use, manufacture, and disposal.
ORGANIC:
This product was not produced using irradiation, specified fertilizers, prohibited pesticides, and GMO’s.
FAIR TRADE:
The workers behind this product participate in international markets in ways that are fair and equitable.
ENERGY STAR:
This product met EPA standards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency.


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

Surplus Property is a part of the Procurement Services Department that is responsible for the disposal, re-distribution, and/or sale of used equipment/property that the University of Missouri and other Mid-Missouri government agencies and educational institutions no longer use. The sale of this equipment is handled through public auctions, sales, or online. A Disposal Request through our software must be completed and approved before items can be picked up. Surplus receives no General Operating(G.O.) funds. All salaries, benefits, operational, marketing and sales costs are paid by the 35% retained from the sale of surplus equipment.


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

The University utilizes the Blackboard site which is an online learning community that all courses offered by the university are registered on and all course information and documents are provided through each courses respective link. Students have the ability to upload all work done for each course as well.


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

The Print Smart Program was initiated in an effort to reduce the use of printing and misuse of printers. This program has resulted in much greater sustainability-friendly printing habits at MU. Print Smart is a print accounting service that manages printing use in the computing sites. Students use their non-refundable print allowance to print to numerous on-campus printers; the cost of each print job is deducted from that allowance. Students can track your usage and remaining allowance online.


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

A collaboration between the University of Missouri, the City of Columbia and the University YMCA, Tiger Treasures collects and sells unwanted items donated by students departing for the summer from MU Residential Life facilities and Greek houses. The project diverts tons of material from the landfill and proceeds from the sale benefit local charitable agencies. The Mizzou Tiger Treasures Rummage Sale collects unwanted items from departing students and sells them in the city's largest rummage sale.


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

Increasing recycling awareness to our Building Coordinators.


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

Each week, 100 consecutive trays are randomly sampled at lunch or dinner. All edible food and beverage are collected and weighted (no peels, bones or ice). The total weight is converted to ounces and divided by 100 to get an average per person. This same process is followed at every all-you-care-to-eat facility.


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:

Campus Dining Services has worked closely with the MU Bradford Research and Extension Center (Bradford Farm) on a full–cycle composting project. CDS sends food waste to Bradford Farm to create the farm’s compost material. Then each year, CDS purchases vegetables grown at Bradford Farm to serve across campus. In additional, Bradford Farm uses oil from CDS fryers for bio–diesel in the farm’s tractors.


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

The University of Missouri initiated a Trayless Dining Week in 2009, and it resulted in large waste reductions. More recently Campus Dining implemented Trayless Dining for Summer Welcome in summer of 2011, response was positive and the continuation of trayless dining was carried over into the Fall and is remains the current practice.


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):

We do not currently use any reusable or compostable containers for to-go meals.


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):

85% of dining operations offer reusable service ware either exclusively or as an option for customers dining in. One operation (Pavilion @ Dobbs) only uses certified compostable service ware for all dine-in meals.


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:

Reusable mugs are available for purchase from both retail (cash) and residential (dining plan) operations. Customers receive a cash discount for bringing a reusable mug in retail operations. Customers using a Campus Dining Service mug in residential operations may get their beverage for free.


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

Campus Dining Services uses computerized tracking to anticipate and prepare only the food that is needed. As less food is wasted, less food is purchased and prepared. Continued reduction in waste reduces energy used in storing, transporting, and producing food. Continued reduction in demand lowers costs and frees up agricultural resources for other purposes. Each week, 100 consecutive trays are randomly sampled at lunch or dinner. All edible food and beverage are collected and weighted (no peels, bones or ice). The total weight is converted to ounces and divided by 100 to get an average per person. This same process is followed at every all-you-care-to-eat facility.

The “Waste Not, Want Not” task force is a Mizzou Advantage undergraduate research team involving an interdisciplinary collaboration of students and faculty seeking to understand food waste and how to decrease it on campus. With the support of Campus Dining Services, they are launching a two-week awareness campaign in early November which will involve traditional marketing as well as the use of social media, utilizing the hashtag #RespectZouFood. The team will determine our success by measuring the plate waste generated before and after the intervention and also by tracking the reach of our social media campaign.


The website URL where information about the institution’s waste minimization initiatives is available:

Baseline year numbers have been gathered from the Solid Waste and Recycling at MU FY 2008 report.

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.