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Babson College launching pilot food waste diversion program this summer

Posted by Laura Gomez  June 13, 2013 01:35 PM

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Babson College is launching a food waste diversion pilot program this summer at Trim Dining Hall through a joint initiative between Facilities Management, Sodexo Campus Services, and the Sustainability Office, according to a press release.

Based on preliminary waste audits and observations, an expected 1-2 tons per week of food waste will be diverted from the trash at Trim Dining Hall and be hauled by EOMS Recycling to local farms to be composted into soil.

“Through composting food waste at local farms and making local produce a priority, we are bringing it full circle,” said Sarah Bedore, a manager at Trim Dining Hall and Dining Services’ sustainability leader.

The pilot program at Trim Dining Hall is the first phase of Babson’s food waste diversion plan and will initially collect pre-consumer scraps from kitchen work stations.

The second phase will be centered on expanding collection of pre-consumer scraps to the Reynolds Campus Center.

Post-consumer food-waste will be collected in phase three.

“We are excited to pilot this program here at Babson, because we have found a solution that offers significant cost-savings and has been approved by the Town of Wellesley Board of Health,” said Steve Tolley of Facilities Management. Tipping and hauling costs for each ton of food waste are approximately one-third of the costs for traditional trash disposal.

Tolley has been researching strategies for food waste diversion for several years, from on-site processing options to hauling it to a proposed anaerobic digestion facility. Until recently, no diversion strategy met the dual goals of cost-effectiveness and environmental health and safety.

Across the state, food waste diversion programs have received a boost from new state regulations that apply to entities generating more than 1 ton of food waste per week.

These regulations prohibit food waste from being disposed of as trash as part of the State of Massachusetts’ recently released Solid Waste Master Plan.

“This pilot program at Trim is a valuable part of Babson’s efforts to increase its diversion rate and complements our waste reduction efforts in support of our sustainability goals,” said Alex Davis of the Sustainability Office.

All across the Babson campus there are staff, students, and faculty tackling issues of sustainability and resource efficiency and working to solve these integrated challenges.

To learn more about other Babson College Sustainability initiatives visit: http://www.babson.edu/about-babson/sustainability/Pages/home.aspx

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