An educational lesson in on-site composting
With food waste costing the education sector over £250 million every year, it’s understandable that sustainability, waste reduction and resource efficiency are high on the environmental agenda of many schools, colleges and universities throughout the UK. But to achieve the ultimate goal of an eco-friendly campus, a more circular – less linear – approach to waste management needs to be adopted. Our sales manager, Huw Crampton, recently shared his thoughts with The University Caterers Association (TUCO) – if you missed the original article, you can catch up below…
A lesson in leading the way with on-site composting
Dundee and Angus College in Scotland is a prime example of a waste management innovator in the educational field, as it has already implemented a closed loop solution that is tailored to the site’s organic waste recovery requirements. In 2015, the College – with a 6,368-student capacity – decided to go against the traditional, single-use packaging grain and sourced an eco-friendlier substitute, by switching to plant-based Vegware consumables. Then, with a keen appetite to further augment their sustainability footprint, the educational institution investigated how it could omit the waste-handling middlemen and process the compostable materials itself on-site.
This environmental commitment saw the introduction of waste management technologies – integrated shredding, dewatering and composting systems – across their campus kitchens. And in less than 10 weeks after the initial order, the machines were processing and blending the feed material, which the A900 Rocket Composter used to create a nutrient-rich compost resource for the College garden. As well as the resource perks, the new tech was also a financial and environmental investment, saving money on off-site waste transportation costs and reducing the campus’ carbon footprint.
With little to surpass it, this small-scale example in Scotland – now over three years in operation and having composted over 70 tonnes of food waste – is still leading the way in demonstrating the multifaceted advantages of harnessing waste as a valuable resource. And with the College investing in a second composting unit for another of its campuses last year, it just goes to show that there’s a lesson or two to be learnt through delivering your own closed loop waste-to-resource strategy.
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