Modern Recycling and Daemen College in Amherst have collaborated this academic year to recycle food scraps and raise awareness about the value of composting.
“Daemen College is deeply committed to following best environmental management practices in all operations,” said Daemen President Dr. Gary Olson. “Implementing campus organics recycling will enable the College to lead by example and promote environmental awareness locally and globally.”
Students in Daemen College’s Spring 2012 Sustainable Design course were challenged with designing a system that would reduce the College’s environmental impact. The response from students was to develop a plan to collect pre-consumer kitchen scraps from the College’s dining hall and send them to a third party for processing into compost. Kenzie Reynen, one of the students, took on the challenges of implementing the plan. She worked with Daemen food service director John Suckow to design an efficient system for separating food scraps from other waste and place them in wheeled carts for collection. Implementation stalled when they weren’t able to find a hauler to transport the material to a compost facility.
Modern Recycling began its organics recycling service in the summer of 2012 to provide customers another service option in support of its customers’ sustainability goals. Modern learned about Daemen’s student project as it was developing its own collection and processing program and the two programs fit well together. When students returned to campus in September, Modern started collecting Daemen’s dining hall kitchen scraps and the program has continued since then. “Creating the system was actually much easier than we anticipated,” said Suckow. “We were already tossing those items in the trash, and now we have a system that takes it back to the earth.”
Modern’s cart-based program accepts food scraps like vegetable trimmings, fruit peels, stale breads and pastries and coffee grounds from commercial and institutional customers. The organic material is delivered to Modern’s compost facility where it is processed along with plant waste from Modern’s H2Gro Greenhouses. “We believe interest in organics recycling programs will grow regionally just as it has nationally because it’s the next big step in recycling,” says Modern’s Sustainability Coordinator & Educator, Katy Duggan-Haas.
Food scraps make-up 14% of municipal solid waste discarded in the United States each year. Recycling food scraps into compost presents a significant opportunity to:
About Daemen College:
Daemen College is a private, 4-year, coeducational college, offering a mix of liberal arts majors, pre-professional programs, and graduate degrees in education, health care, and business-related fields. Daemen prides itself on maintaining a student-centered atmosphere and a close professional and collaborative association among all members of the College community.About Modern:
Modern is a group of companies specializing in state-of-the-art solid waste management and innovative sustainable environmental practices. Modern has more than 500 employees in New York and Southern Ontario, Canada.