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University Targets Dorm Composting


By Cathryn Jakicic Green
throwing out kitchen waste to compost heap for recycling and fertilizer

The University of Iowa recently launched a composting initiative to educate students on dealing with with organic waste, according to The Gazette. A recent audit found that about 30 percent of waste going into the trash could be composted, says Beth MacKenzie, recycling coordinator in the UI Office of Sustainability.

Recently, the university’s sustainability office provided students living in the residence halls with 1,125 individual compost bins with the hopes that each week they’ll deliver scraps to drop sites around campus.

The student-centered initiative, which received $8,510 in startup costs from the university’s student government, will build on the composting efforts already under way in residence hall and other dining facilities across campus.

The pilot program began in 2007 and expanded to the residence halls in 2014. The composting program now diverts more than 325 tons of compostable garbage from the landfill annually. That amount includes more than 215 tons from the three participating dorm dining facilities.

Americans discard about 40 percent of the food supply annually, throwing away about $165 billion, according to a 2012 Natural Resources Defense Council report. Reducing that total by just 15 percent would save enough food to feed 25 million Americans a year.

This Quick Read was submitted by Cathryn Jakicic, Healthcare Industries Editor, FacilitiesNet. For more about hospital campuses and other medical facilities, visit https://www.facilitiesnet.com/healthcarefacilities.

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