January 12, 2010
Dining has implemented a composting project to help the campus community reduce
Two of Grand Valley's dining locations -- Fuel, inside the Commons building, and Kleiner Commons -- now offer guests the opportunity to compost food waste, serviceware and packaging. Fresh Food Co. also composts pre- and post-consumer waste but due to the style of service and use of china and silverware, does not offer guest composting. Thanks to the initiative, pre-consumer waste (from cooking and preparation) and post-consumer waste are both composted and diverted from landfills.
Posters hang above receptacles at Fuel and Kleiner to indicate items that can be placed into "landfill" and "composting" bins. The collection receptacles are lined with biodegradable bags. Bags are transferred to separate collection points for recycling, composting and landfill.
"More than half of the items we use for service and packaging can be composted, so this project is a natural fit," said Penny Ibarra, Kleiner manager. "Changing student habits is the hardest part of composting. A lot of students are already on board and hopefully more will participate when they see how easy it is."
Campus Dining employees are trained to explain the composting project and can offer help understanding the process.
According to the U.S. EPA, food is the No. 1 least-recycled material. To enhance Grand Valley's sustainability efforts Campus Dining has kicked off a composting project that will help recycle food and other items. Composting is the most efficient type of recycling because it breaks waste down into the soil; there aren't chemicals or large amounts of power used.
Grand Valley State University is nationally recognized as a leader in sustainability and has made a commitment to foster economic, social, and environmental sustainability both inside and outside the classroom. The university received the highest green rating in Michigan in an annual report by the Princeton Review and is the only Michigan school cited in Kaplan College Guide 2009's list of "cutting-edge green" colleges and universities.
Mission: To transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, in a way that improves the quality of life in West Michigan.