U of Cincinnati starts composting program

Foodservice department hopes to prevent 100% of food waste from going to landfills.

Aug. 12—A pilot composting program will begin at MarketPointe@Siddall dining center in fall semester, and plans call for the program to eventually be used in other University of Cincinnati settings. The university's Office of Sustainability, Facilities Management and Food Services have been discussing a composting strategy in recent years, and a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency via the Hamilton County Solid Waste & Recycling District helped set things in motion.

"It's an idea we've been trying to make work for three years," says Claire Sweigart, sustainability coordinator. "This grant was the push we needed to take the leap."

The pilot project's goal is to keep 100 percent of the food waste produced at MarketPointe out of the landfill. Instead, the nearly 2 tons of waste generated each week will be diverted to an off-campus composting partner. The program will keep UC near the front of nationwide sustainability trends and could serve as a template for other institutions.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The University of New Mexico’s proposed on-campus taproom has officially been approved by the school’s Board of Regents.

Construction on the $650,000 student union taproom will begin this summer and is expected to finish in August when students return to campus. The school’s food vendor, Chartwells, and UNM’s Dining & Food Services department will split the cost of the taproom evenly.

Designed by students in the school’s architecture department, the space will feature a rotating selection of beer and wine, and will also welcome guest brewers. Chartwells will be...

Ideas and Innovation
cafeteria

Three years ago, Colonial School District in New Castle, Del., started a pilot supper program at its high school. The goal: To make sure the district’s students, 57% of whom are on free or reduced-priced meals, would not be hungry when school is done for the day.

Since its inception, the program has expanded to 12 schools and now provides afterschool meals to children participating in YMCA activities. And it's just one of many such programs popping up in districts throughout the country, as operators add supper to the list of daily meals they provide for students.

Building...
Ideas and Innovation
hydroponics

We put our hydroponic gardens in a spot where students can watch them grow, but at the same time it’s safe from being tampered with. At one of our elementary schools, the gardens are in the kitchen, but there’s a window where students can look in as they walk down the hallway. Some even stop to count how many cucumbers they see.

Ideas and Innovation
food snap

We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

FSD Resources