St. Olaf College, MN "The College Composter"

From Green Policy
Jump to: navigation, search

Type: Policy

Status: Adopted in 2004

Source File: http://www.stolaf.edu/green/composter/index.html

Description:

At St. Olaf and elsewhere, we hope the food we eat helps us to do good work in the world. And now we hope the food we don't eat also does good work in the world.

We consume a lot of food at St. Olaf-about 80,000 meals a week. A few cynical students think the food is garbage even before they eat it. But all of them agree it's garbage when they're done. On the average, we generate about 700 pounds of food waste every day, including the scraps trimmed from food in preparation. That's not bad. If 2650 students eat 2.5 meals a day (a rough estimate), that would be prep and plate waste of 1.7 ounces per student per meal.

When we designed Buntrock Commons in the late Nineties, we planned the food service as a resource flow from farm to fork to fertilizer. When students deposit their trays on the carousel after meals, the kitchen staff slides all the leftover food into a pulper that extracts water from the waste. The result is a slurpy essence de garbage, easy to handle and easy to compost.

Right now, this garbage goes to a landfill on Highway 3, where it takes up space. Eventually the food waste will decay, but it's mixed with metal and plastics and chemicals in the landfill, so it won't return to the food cycle. Starting in January, however, our food waste will be food for the flora of our campus and farmlands.

In early 2004, members of the Environmental Coalition collected and weighed all the cafeteria waste for a week. Shortly after, the college purchased an in-vessel composter from Wright Environmental Management. When it's installed on land just south of North Avenue, it will handle up to a ton of waste a day. The composter combines food waste (including dairy products and meat) with woodchips, pizza boxes and other paper products, converting this recipe to fertilizer in a period of 14 days. The composter may reduce our garbage disposal costs. And all of the compost will be used on the college's flower beds and agricultural fields.

Our composter is good for us and good for the natural communities of the college, but it's also good for the human community of Northfield, because we can reduce pressure on the public sewage treatment plant. It's no longer a situation of "garbage in, garbage out." With a composter, it's "garbage in, compost out."

Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Log in / Create Account
GreenPolicy360
About Our Network
Daily Green Stories
GreenPolicy360 Updates
Navigation
Green Graphics
GreenPolicy Social Media
Going Green
Earthviews
New Visions of Security
Strategic Demands
Countries & Maps
Digital360
GrnPolicy Reviews
Eco-Education
Online Legis Info (U.S.)
Wiki Ballotpedia (U.S.)
Wiki Politics (U.S.)
Wikimedia Platform
Green News/Dailies
Green News Services (En)
Green Zines (En)
Green Lists @Wikipedia
Climate Action Headlines
Climate Litigation Databases
Climate Agreement / INDCs
Climate Misinformation
Wikipedia on Climate
GrnNews Reddit Daily
Fact-Checking News Sites
GreenPolicy360 & Science
Identify Nature's Creatures
Climate Change - NASA
Ecolivia
Tools