By Contributing Writer Caroline Quirk.
Organic waste collection is coming to UMass Dartmouth! Ever wonder what happens with your scraps from Res? Are you ever uncertain about what to do with your apple cores or banana peels? The sustainability initiative on campus is taking on these questions with an additional bin for your organic waste.
Organic composting is a natural process of recycling organic products such as meat and vegetable scraps into alternative products and uses such as rich, healthy soil, and in Umass Dartmouth’s case, pig food.
Due to the size of UMass Dartmouth and the number of students, faculty and staff that it provides dining services for, we produce more than one ton of organic material a week. Implementing organic composting into the community will reduce that load by ten percent. This may not seem like much, but in the long run and overtime, it is a huge accomplishment.
The Marketplace, Res, sends all their scraps and napkins to be composted into fertilizer and some to be fed to local chicken farms.
The dining staff already does a lot to stay sustainable and reuse as much food as possible.
They are now teaming up with the sustainability initiative team to incorporate yet another program to add to their sustainable title.
This brand-new program will be starting in the campus center/commuter cafe after spring break.
The sustainability initiative team has purchased 7 bins which will be set up in the campus center conveniently located outside all the dining options. So, do not be surprised if you come back from your week off and there are three bins instead of two, the new one labeled organic waste.
Now for the most important question:
What can be put in these bins? All your ordinary food scraps can be considered organic waste. This includes leftover meats, fruits, vegetables and even coffee grounds.
Bones and shells are an exception and cannot be put into the bins.UMass Dartmouth is trying to follow the EPA’s food pyramid shown on the side.
The waste collected in the bins will be brought to a local pig farm, which means that this new bin system falls into the third tier. This causes for less guilt for not being able to finish your lunch, although that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
The bins are going to start at the campus center primarily, but the goal is to have them in the Woodlands and Cedar Dell by the fall.
Eventually they will be implemented in Birch Grill, the library and the food carts spread around campus to ensure that we are wasting as little food as possible.
Keep your eyes peeled for informative signs and educated members of the Green Navigators around the campus center to learn how to recycle properly!