W&M Launches Compost Effort

The Dining Services department at the College of Willliam & Mary has launched a program to compost much of the food waste from the dining facilities on campus. The initiative, which reportedly will cut the department’s waste production by approximately one third, is the result of a collaboration between the Committee on Sustainability's (COS) Food Services Working group and Aramark, William & Mary’s dining vendor.

In return for Aramark handling the daily management of the organic waste collection, COS purchased the compost bins using funds from the student green fees.
 Partnering with local firm Natural Organic Process Enterprises (NOPE), W&M Dining Services will use new specifically-marked containers separate from those used for trash and recycling.

Organic waste generated from food preparation will be separated from the waste stream at the Commons, Sadler Center, Miller Hall and Marketplace dining locations, as well as the catering unit. Post-consumer food waste will be collected for composting at the Commons and Sadler Center locations.

NOPE will then collect the containers at each of the campus dining locations and haul them to an organic composting facility in Waverly, VA, run by McGill USA. The material is then processed for six to eight weeks before being packaged and sold as organic fertilizer.

The composting program is the latest in a number of food sustainability initiatives put in place over the past year on campus, including biodegradable and reusable take-out containers, limited tray use, and improved recycling.