Waste Management: RecycleMania, Zero Waste, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Composting
Below is a list of CMU Campus Dining’s sustainable efforts in the category of Waste Management.
Meal Plans and FLEX ordering are available through ecommerce to reduce paper waste http://www.cmucampusdining.com.
Trayless Dining featured in our Residential Restaurants to conserve water and energy, reduce the amount of chemicals used and minimize food waste. Waste was reduced 33% after going trayless in the fall 2008 semester.
Our Java City locations provide recycle bins and signage to encourage recycling of coffee jackets.
Our napkin holders across campus are one-at-a-time style and napkins are imprinted “Save the environment – one napkin at a time – made with 100% recycled material,” minimizing waste.
A recycling program is in full force at all locations across campus. Campus Dining recycles cardboard, office paper, register receipts, newspapers, magazines, glass, plastic, aluminum, batteries, light bulbs, Styrofoam, shrink wrap, toners, and print cartridges.
CMU Campus Dining, in partnership with Facilities Management, has participated in Recyclemania – a national recycling competition since 2008.
All Retail locations offer a discount for guests who bring in a reusable mug.
Our “Joe to Grow” program in Java City locations features complimentary coffee grounds to our guests to use for composting and fertilizing purposes.
Campus Dining has provided used fryer oil to the CMU Chemistry Department for a pilot bio-diesel fuel production program.
Currently, our remaining used fryer oil is diverted to 100% sustainable use by Darling International, a Michigan based company. We ensure maximum life of our fryer oil through daily filtering and educating our staff in proper handling of the oil.
In March, 2010, Campus Dining, in partnership with the Student Environmental Alliance, Facilities Management and Recycling Coordinators started up a pilot composting program. In the fall of 2010, all four Residential Restaurants have partnered with Facilities Management and provided pre-consumer waste to be composted. The composting program expanded to include the Catering Kitchen, Down Under Food Court, Goodies to Go, and Starbucks in January 2012. Both Java City locations also compost coffee grounds on a regular basis.
Zero Waste – In March, 2012, Robinson Residential Restaurant, in partnership with Facilities Management and Future Organics conducted a Zero Waste Pilot program for 8 weeks, composting ALL food products, including plate waste, paper and wax coated cardboard. These products were taken to composting facilities, primarily to Morgan Composting, located in Sears, Michigan, where they were processed, and utilized for several programs: the manufacture of organic fertilizer, or the creation of a natural gas alternative to be used directly as fuel, or for the production of electricity. In the 8 week pilot, we reduced our landfill waste from 86% of the total of compost waste and landfill combined, to 5.9% of the total of landfill and compost waste combined. During the month of April, our waste weighed 7.71 tons. .46 ton went to a landfill, and 7.25 tons was diverted to compost so 94% of the total tonnage of waste was diverted.
Zero Waste goes campus wide - in April, 2013, both Merrill Residential Restaurant and Robinson Residential Restaurant partnered with Facilities Management and Future Organics to conduct another pilot zero waste program. The dumpsters were removed from both sites, and replaced with Compost Tanks. The minimal amount of landfill trash, consisting of plastic wrapping materials, plastic gloves and plastic that is not accepted by the Material Recovery Facility, was put in a landfill dumpster used by Residents in the halls near the loading docks of the two buildings. During the month of April, the two locations composted 27,000 pounds of food waste – pre and post-consumer –, cardboard and paper products. The program was expanded to include FFCo – Woldt Residential Restaurant, RFoC – Carey Residential Restaurant. In December 2014, Future Organics sold the company and the zero waste program was put on hold until a new procedure was developed.
A new Zero Waste program was tested in June 2015 and is in effect at the four Residential Restaurants, University Center operations and Java City Coffee Shops. In June 2015, CMU Facilities Management purchased a dump trailer with a hydraulic lift and compost collection bins. The Cascade bins are made in Grand Rapids, Michigan – Cascade Cart Solutions www.cascadecartsolutions.com/company. All food waste, including plate waste, paper and wax coated cardboard is collected in the Cascade bins at each loading dock. CMU Facilities staff empties the bins into the dump trailer three times a week and hauls it to Morgan Composting in Sears, Michigan www.dairydoo.com/. In the fall 0f 2015, our Zero Waste program went full circle. Morgan Composting tested the soil in several areas on campus and custom-made a soil treatment using Campus Dining Waste, along with other organic ingredients and it was spread in areas on campus. This concept will expand and continue in the coming months. Zero Waste in Campus Dining
We are currently partnering with Facilities Management in exploring opportunities to compost food and paper product waste at athletic events with a future goal of achieving zero waste at these events.
All Residential Restaurants eliminated the use of sugar and creamer packets/cups, and currently use reusable sugar shakers, and creamer in recyclable containers.
All Residential Restaurants use reusable salt and pepper shakers.
Some Residential Locations are using reusable Evo Spray Bottles for cooking oils in operations, reducing the use of aerosol cans.
In November, 2012 and in June 2016, Central Michigan University was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency for our composting efforts and significant reduction in food waste in the "Food Recovery Challenge".