Starting today, food and paper waste from our dining halls and Norris will be composted. This initiative is the latest in our effort to reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfill.
Unused portions of food will continue to be donated to Campus Kitchens, which distributes it to those in need in the Evanston community. Composting complements this program by providing a more environmentally friendly use for our waste that cannot be donated, like preparation scraps and plate leftovers.
To make this new program a success, we need your help! In the dining halls, you no longer need to scrap your plates! Leave your food and paper waste on your plate to go through the tray return. For more information on what can and can not be composted, visit the nuCuisine sustainability page. At Norris, nuCuisine will composting the food and paper waste from the kitchen.
Waste in our dining halls and Norris will be collected and then delivered to a composting facility in the Chicago area. The facility provides ideal conditions for the waste to rapidly biodegrade and the compost is ready 90 days after it arrives. The compost is then sent out to farms, where it is added to the soil.
Benefits of Composting
Composting recycles the nutrients in food waste so they can be reused to grow nutritious and natural food. The use of compost reduces the amount of chemicals needed to grow crops and keeps farm soil healthy and productive. Less fertilizer means less oil (a necessary ingredient for these chemicals) and less pollution in our waterways.
Compost also reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills. Conditions in landfills are not conducive to biodegradation, so organic waste breaks down in a way that produces methane - a greenhouse gas 23 times as potent as CO2. Compost facilities ensure the waste gets the proper amounts of moisture and oxygen to degrade properly.
Interested in learning more about composting? Try doing it at home! Check out these easy instructions.