EPA honors university’s dining hall food composting program

MANHATTAN — The Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 has  presented an  achievement award to Kansas State University for demonstrating commitment to improving sustainable food management practices.

Kansas State University’s food composting program takes leftover food waste from dining halls to Agronomy North Farm on campus for composting. The compost is used by university researchers for erosion, field and greenhouse experiments.

In 2012, Kansas State University reduced food waste by 39.8 tons, an increase of 41.6 percent from its 2011 total, as a part of EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. In 2010, the university’s first year in the program, the university reduced food waste by 22 tons.

At Kansas State University, the food composting program is a collaborative effort among housing and dining services, the department of agronomy, K-State Recycling and the K-State Student Union food service by Sodexo.

The composting program began several years ago with Kramer Dining Center and has grown to involve dining halls across campus. The program keeps food waste out of landfills and combines the university’s excellence in agriculture with a commitment to sustainability.

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