The Food & Recycling category looks primarily at dining services and its policies and practices relating to sustainability. Points are given based on the quantity and availability of both locally grown food, as well as organic food. The category also examines campus-wide programs on recycling and composting.
Leading by Example
The Food & Recycling "A" List is a group of 24 schools that earned "A" grades. Below is a sample of four very different institutions that all earned "A" grades. These summaries are based on data from each school’s profile page.
Dartmouth College’s Local Food Project is an on-going program to organize local farmers in New Hampshire and Vermont to supply a sustainable source of local foods to the College. A Sustainable Dining Committee has been formed that is focused on creating a waste-free dining prototype in one dining venue.
Grinnell College dining services uses local, organic products for most staple ingredients, including organic flour and local milk, eggs, herbs, pork, and some fruits and vegetables. Pre- and post-consumer food waste is composted using a pulping machine and donated to a local farm, diverting approximately seven tons of waste each month. Yard waste is composted through the city of Grinnell, Iowa.
Washington State University dining services has equipment to mulch all food waste as part of the campus composting program, which then sells the compost to local nurseries. The dining halls now use local, organic products for all baking and bread products, and another line of organics was added in response to student comments, in addition to Organic Fridays, which will begin spring 2007. The Waste Wise program recycles 57 percent of the waste stream from approximately 1,500 collection areas across campus.
Williams College spends an extra 20 cents per person per meal on local, organic foods, amounting to a 30 percent increase in local and organic foods in the dining halls over the past few years. This is one of the strongest efforts seen from any college or university dining service in the country. The dining halls collect 80 tons of food waste annually to provide compost to local farms, and the College’s efforts have allowed the local middle school to join the composting program.