Dining aims to reduce, reuse, recycle food waste
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 00:01
Miami University will implement a pilot program that will promote the creation of organic compost from leftover food scraps, starting Feb. 1. The pilot will take place for one month at King Café.
In addition, Demske Culinary Support Center (DCSC) will compost its organic food scraps. DCSC is the food warehouse and produce facility for Miami.
The food scraps from King Café and DCSC will be placed into an organic compactor at DCSC. Once every seven to 10 days, the compacted matter will be picked up by Con-Serv Industries (CSI), a waste hauler company, and delivered to Compost Cincinnati, where it will be composted and eventually turned into mulch.
Jon Brubacher, the purchasing and operations analyst at DCSC, said more could be done with the leftover organic matter than simply putting it into a landfill.
“Ninety percent of stuff we used to put into the landfill is organic and it will now be composted at Demske,” Brubacher said.
According to Brubacher, the new system of disposing food waste at King Café will be easy for customers to follow.
There will be new trash receptacles with designated bins for organic waste, compostable containers, and other non-organic and non-compostable trash.
“It will be a training issue for us,” Brubacher said. “It falls back on the customer to properly dispose of the items. But we want to try to get everything we provide, even the food containers, to be compostable. That way, there won’t really be any other trash. There is little room for contamination if we make it as simplistic as possible.”
Assuming the pilot program at King Café succeeds, other future plans include expanding this program to Miami’s three new dining halls and eventually to the rest of campus. According to Brubacher, three to four more organic compactors like the one at DCSC will be placed around campus within the next four to five months.
Students can also expect to see a new pilot program that encourages 11 residence halls to compost pizza boxes.
Although all must contribute, Brubacher said that students are a crucial part of making these sustainability programs a success.
First-year Abria Marshall said the new program is a great way to make a difference.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Marshall said. “They’re not really doing anything with the leftovers; it goes to waste anyway. It’s a win-win.”
The three new dining halls will be a la carte, as Miami is transitioning away from the buffet style dining.
First-year Thomas Yarcusko said so much goes to waste in the buffet style dining halls and something should be done about it.
“I see a lot of food leftover on the conveyor…it’s pretty bad,” Yarcusko said.
According to Brubacher, Miami and DCSC encourage all students to get involved in this compost program.