University Dining Considers Composting

A recent audit by Waste Reduction and Recycling (WRR) found that 70 percent of waste generated at Fountain Dining Hall was compostable. The four-hour audit, which took place January 27, was completed by volunteer students who sorted, shoveled and weighed bags of garbage from NC State’s largest dining hall.

“This was great news to us,” said Analis Fulghum, Education and Outreach Coordinator for WRR. “It shows great potential to divert a large amount of waste from landfill.”

NC State University currently diverts 45 percent of its waste from the landfill by recycling, reusing, and composting yard waste and has a goal to increase it to 65 percent by 2015. Based on the waste-audit report, University Dining could have a significant impact on achieving that goal.

University Dining is already making the switch towards making composting a reality by taking out single-use items like ketchup packets.

“We already have many initiatives that are in line with University’s overall goal to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Randy Lait, director of Dining Services. “We appreciate the work WRR did to complete the waste audit and look forward to exploring the possibility of composting for our dining halls.”

The Waste Reduction and Recycling Office (WRR) has also applied and won a $10,000 dollar grant from the Wake County — Commercial Waste Reduction Grant Program in an effort to drive the composting program forward and offset start-up costs.

This is not the first time the University has started composting on a large scale, the Waste Reduction and Recycling office manages a yard waste site that composts branches, limbs, and other organic material. The material is then composted and brought back onto campus as a soil amendment.

“The process of switching from all waste in the dining halls to composting will take some time and further research to ensure the
sustainability and viability of this program on both WRR’s and University Dining’s part, but will be an exciting step forward once this
goal is realized.” says Analis Fulghum, Education and Outreach Coordinator for WRR.

About University Dining:
University Dining has been a contributing partner in the University’s overall goal to conserve energy, use resources wisely and reduce their carbon footprint through initiatives like removing trays from dining halls to reduce waste and water consumption, providing local and organic food choices and many more.

University Dining:

Waste Reduction and Recycling Office:

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