Arizona State University has added a composting program and joined the Environmental Protection Agency's Food Recovery Challenge. This year, ASU had sent 6,778 tons of waste to the landfill, a quarter of that meal scraps, says Nick Brown, director of university sustainability practices.
In celebration of the EPA Food Recovery Challenge kick-off, the school is introducing back-of-the-house composting at two dining halls, Hassayampa and Barrett, where staff are using Green Bins to compost all food (including dairy and meat products) and paper food-service items (including boats, clamshells, napkins and cups).
The food-service workers collect the compostable items at both Tempe campus dining halls with no action from diners currently required.This enables the facilities to essentially become zero waste because all items handled there can either be composted or recycled, Brown notes.
ASU plans to expand its composting efforts through its Green Bin program beginning in January when students, faculty and staff will be able to put all food scraps and all paper food-service items in Green Bins placed throughout ASU's four campuses. The Green Bin program will support ASUs Zero Waste by 2015 goal, which aims to reduce all waste destined for the landfill by 90%.