Soldiers Memorial Military Museum

St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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The Missouri Historical Society encompasses Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, Missouri History Museum and Library & Research Center, the Missouri Historical Society assumes responsibility for its role in environmental stewardship. It seeks to minimize consumption of energy and materials, treat waste responsibly, and make sustainable practices an integral part of all operations to reduce the organization’s environmental footprint. After receiving a LEED Gold certification, the Missouri Historical Society wanted to strive towards waste reduction to increase local economic growth and reduce the amount of resources dedicated towards operational use.

The Missouri Historical Society analyzed the operations of Soldiers Memorial Military Museum to determine whether a commercial waste system would be necessary to support daily operations. After a formal waste audit was conducted by the institution’s TRUE Advisor, it was determined that a commercial waste system would not support a zero-waste model. The Museum identified all points of waste generation within each department of the Missouri Historical Society and used the information gathered to create policies and procedures for staff, volunteers, and vendors.

Redesign, reduction and reuse were enforced in the creation of the zero-waste policy at Soldiers Memorial Military Museum. By resizing and reducing the current waste systems, the Museum saved monetary resources and reduced the amount of waste generated since receptacles are now smaller in office areas and public spaces. The new waste systems influence how staff and visitors treat waste, asking the question of whether potential waste was used to its fullest potential. Reduction and reuse worked simultaneously within the zero-waste program. Instead of introducing new materials for operational and educational purposes, a tracking system was implemented to help reduce waste before it was generated. A numerical coding system was also used to tag the location of each waste station to identify how much waste was collected and from which department. The coding system allows the administrator of the zero-waste program to continue to educate staff on the proper use of materials to their fullest potential. The TRUE zero-waste program allowed the Missouri Historical Society to fully embrace zero-waste practices and re-evaluate resources that are usually identified as waste. Resources that went into operations were used to its fullest use value to decrease the amount of waste generated and this allowed the museum to get to zero-waste.

"Museum operations can be energy, water and waste intensive. Soldiers Memorial Military Museum was renovated into an energy and water efficient, state of the art museum which led to a LEED Gold certification in 2019. It was only fitting to address waste at Soldiers Memorial Military Museum. TRUE provided the Missouri Historical Society with an opportunity to address our waste practices and utilize all of our resources to its fullest extent, in order to decrease waste through operations. The TRUE program has been invaluable to the Missouri Historical Society and has provided a path for other museums to explore zero-wastes practices in the future."
- Angela A. Moore, Facilities & Sustainability Coordinator, Missouri Historical Society

Learn more about the museum here and in their waste reduction and diversion case study.