FOOD WASTE COMPOST PROJECT

This just in from UCSB:

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Compost Pilot Project (CPP) at UCSB is a TGIF (The Green Initiative Fund) grant funded initiative to add composting receptacles to six existing recycling clusters on campus that are adjacent to campus eateries. This student run pilot will be implemented on January 23rd and is intended to capture post-consumer food scrap waste generated on campus. If it is successful, University Center Dining Services operated eateries will begin to procure compostable containers, cups and cutlery. In Fall 2011, the UCSB Compost Pilot Project Coalition was created to orchestrate the pilot and consists of members from numerous environmental groups on campus along with dedicated student volunteers.

Over 34 million tons of food waste fills up U.S. landfills each year, making food waste the single largest component of MSW reaching the landfills and incinerators1. Over time, food waste degrades slowly releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. However food waste can be diverted from landfills and composted which drastically reduces its emissions and creates a beneficial agricultural soil amendment.

UCSB first began composting pre-consumer waste in the residential dining commons in 2009. Currently, 90% of the waste generated by the UCSB Dining Commons is composted2. CPP coalition coordinator Philip Jankoski elucidated, “With such a great success in the dining commons, the most logical progression was to expand composting to receptacles on campus for post-consumer collection.”

The success of this project will not only engender a positive environmental impact, but can offer significant reductions in costs. Compost tipping fees are nearly half that of landfill tipping fees3 meaning the CPP has the potential to save money in a time of unprecedented budget cuts. The advent of the CPP pulls UCSB is further evidence of the university’s commitment towards fostering a sustainable campus.

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2 Responses to FOOD WASTE COMPOST PROJECT

  1. Hey John,
    I would like to say that Fresco composts all food waste and it is picked up for compost landfills. We work with the SB Food Scraps Program, . It seems like it could be a hassle when you first think about it, but quite the contrary, it is easy to put into place and it works very smoothly. Every food station and dish room has a barrel, and all food waste and compost materials are deposited at the end of day in airtight, locked containers provided to us. Pick up is based on volume. It is remarkable to see the list of everyday trash that is compostable.
    It cuts a trash bill dramatically, as well as the plastic bags that would normally be used to empty trash. Even at Fresco, where we have limited space, it works so successfully. If anyone has any questions regarding the logistics of the program, thy can call us at fresco anytime at 805.967.6037.
    Best,
    Jill Brouillard

  2. Mac says:

    Well said Jill – we do the same at Mac’s Fish & Chip shop and highly encourange other restaurants to get involved. In addition to simply being the right thing to do, it’s also economically sensible. We pay a little more to use only compostable materials for our packaging but that cost is pretty much offset by composting about 70% of our waste (for the record, we recycle 25% and only obout 5% of our waste ends in landfils).

    So if you ever wondered why there aren’t trash cans out at Mac’s, you now know it’s because we sort out your trash behind the scenes. Nobody said restaurant ownership was glamorous…

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