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.