We’ve begun composting the food waste from the dining halls on campus!
Here’s an excerpt from our press release:
Partnering with Richmond, Virginia’s Natural Organic Process Enterprises (NOPE), Dining Services will use new specifically-marked containers separate from those used for trash and recycling. Organic waste generated from food preparation will be separated from the waste stream at the Commons, Sadler Center RfoC, Miller Hall and the Marketplace dining locations, as well as the catering unit. Post-consumer food waste will be collected for composting at the Commons and Sadler Center RfoC locations.
NOPE will then collect the containers at each of the campus dining locations and haul them to an organic composting facility in Waverly, Virginia. The facility, run by McGill USA, features a natural microbe-enhanced process that, according to their website, “when provided with the right balance of moisture, temperature, and oxygen, [is] able to affect the rapid decay of organic material.” The material is processed for six to eight weeks before being packaged and sold as organic fertilizer.
Integral in the successful creation of the program were the three sustainability student interns hired by Aramark in the fall of 2009. Ian Fuller ’11, Christy Ottinger ’10, and Sarah Will ’10 coordinated with Larry Smith of Aramark and Dining Services and Phil Zapfel, the College’s Sustainability Fellow, to choose a hauler, design a collection program, and submit a proposal for COS green fees funding.
In addition to eliminating up to forty percent of the dining halls’ contribution to the College’s waste production, the environmental benefits of composting are widely known, said Will. “Composting completes the circle of food production,” she noted, adding that composting “will decrease our contribution to the waste stream, which limits the greenhouse gases produced as a side effect from decomposing organic material.”