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Food Waste Composting: College and University Facilities Erica Spiegel Recycling & Solid Waste Manager University of Vermont.

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Presentation on theme: "Food Waste Composting: College and University Facilities Erica Spiegel Recycling & Solid Waste Manager University of Vermont."— Presentation transcript:

1 Food Waste Composting: College and University Facilities Erica Spiegel Recycling & Solid Waste Manager University of Vermont

2 Issues to Consider Who is involved? Does institution have contracted or in-house food service provider? Does contract language address composting (recycling & waste management) responsibilities? Who pays for the trash service? (Who has the financial incentive to reduce solid waste?) UVM contracts with Sodexho Campus Services: Sec Environmental Initiatives. Sodexho will participate in all University environmental initiatives as appropriate including composting and recycling programs; and will provide recommendations for expanding and enhancing current campus initiatives through the annual review of the Strategic Action Plan.

3 Pre-Consumer Food Waste: “from Kitchen to Dock” Provide systems in kitchen and prep area to make it easy for staff to participate. Ergonomic / worker safety issues. Motivate / encourage staff to participate. Dining management has financial interest to reduce amount of “wasted food”

4 Post-Consumer Food Waste: “from Plate to Dock” Are consumers (students) asked to separate their food scraps? Much easier to do if reusable plates/china are used. Almost impossible to do in areas that use “disposable” plates, etc.

5 Or, do dining service workers separate food scraps behind the scenes? Students place trays in dish return area – they are not asked to do anything “active” –perhaps not even aware of composting.

6 Loading Dock Issues Truck Access Storage Location Storage Capacity Container type Weather (freezing and heat) Vector Control Sanitation & Cleaning Carts Signage

7 From “Dorm Room” to Dock Audit of residential area waste reveals that % is compostable food residuals. Mostly snacks, uneaten foods, spoiled foods, leftover “take out” food. Often, foods still in the package. The Challenge: how to collect little bits of food being generated throughout a building that houses 500+ students. Housekeeping/Custodial staff do not want to be involved.

8 “Dorm Room” to Dock Options Small cellulose paper bags no longer available  Pilot program giving out quart-size containers. Volunteer Eco-Rep students set up buckets in halls, and transport food waste to a nearby loading dock. Informal Survey: Most students are unwilling to walk farther than own hallway to be able to compost food scraps.

9 Next Frontier: Packaging Waste PLA-plastics or “bio-plastics” BPI- Approved Biggest opportunity for use in special and catered events.

10 Case Study: Orientation Picnic 500 attendees Everything used, served 100% compostable: utensils, unbleached napkins, uncoated plates, FabriCal cups

11 All “trash” was compostable. Taken to Intervale Compost Facility

12 Don’t Overlook the Details Don’t overlook the small details, as these have big implications on contamination in the food waste residuals stream. or

13 Erica M. Spiegel Recycling & Solid Waste Manager University of Vermont Physical Plant Department


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