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.

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Just over 100 foodservice workers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., have voted to join a branch of the Service Employees International Union, KIMT reports.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota said that 89% of the ballots cast during last week’s election were in favor of unionizing.

The workers are employed by Sodexo, Mayo Clinic’s current foodservice vendor. The clinic recently announced plans to switch vendors to Morrison Healthcare Food Services, a move that has sparked backlash from workers and led to a lawsuit from the SEIU .

Read the full story via kimt.com .

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The Los Angeles Unified School District has lifted its ban on flavored milk in an effort to reduce food waste, the Los Angeles Times reports.

After implementing the ban in 2011, the district noticed that many students would simply throw away their unused milk containers, causing them to end up in landfills. In order to combat the problem, the district’s board is launching a four-part study in 21 schools that will examine different ways to encourage kids to drink more plain milk.

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As Harvard University’s dining staff strike continues , the school has added an extra $25 to student accounts, providing more flexibility for students to eat outside of the dining halls, The Harvard Crimson reports.

The extra funds were added to Crimson Cash and BoardPlus accounts, which students can use to pay for food both on and off campus.

Aside from some technical issues with payment processing, students are grateful for the extra money, according to The Harvard Crimson.

Since the strike began two weeks ago, students have complained about food quality in the...

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