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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

University composting all food waste from dining halls

From a news release issued by UW-Stout:

The University of Wisconsin-Stout, in partnership with Veolia Environmental Services in Eau Claire, is composting all food waste from its two dining halls.

Since Jan. 25, kitchen food waste not served to customers as well as post-consumer food waste in Price Commons and Jeter-Tainter-Callahan dining facilities has been picked up twice a week and transported to Veolia’s composting site at Seven Mile Creek Landfill, east of Eau Claire. Also included is kitchen food waste from the Memorial Student Center.

At the landfill, food waste is dumped and layered with yard waste in long piles, or windrows, and turned periodically so that air and moisture can circulate. As the piles heat up, food and yard waste break down and become nutrient-rich soil.

Veolia will provide UW-Stout with a record of food waste collected. The amount is expected to reach 2 to 2½ tons a week.

“This is just the first step in the university’s composting efforts,” said Ann Thies, director of University Dining. “We have plans for more of the post-consumer food waste to be included in the future. Other post-consumer items are carry-out items and customer waste in our retail dining areas.”

Last fall, the university switched most carry-out containers to compostable packaging and began working on a plan to compost food waste.

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