Friday October 2, 2009

No Trash Cans Allowed

The University has removed all trash cans from dining facilities in an effort to reduce the amount of waste headed to the landfill by 90 percent. Garick Corp. says the initiative is the largest among universities in Ohio.

The University of Dayton is undertaking what is thought to be Ohio's largest institutional food-scraps recycling effort and one of the largest university food composting efforts in the nation, according to Doug Alderman, director of agricultural and environmental business at Garick Corp., whose South Charleston, Ohio, plant will process the compost.

The University's goal is to compost or recycle up to 90 percent of its dining facility waste this academic year. Through one month of the program, so far, the University has redirected nearly 27 tons of waste away from a landfill. Instead, Garick Corp. will turn the waste into reusable products like mulch, soil, potting mix and other products, which are marketed through retailers, garden centers and nurseries throughout the eastern and central United States.

The composting program is part of the University's commitment to being a more sustainable, environmentally friendly environment. The University also is undertaking an initiative to reduce energy consumption by 10 percent.

University of Dayton dining facilities in Kennedy Union and the Marycrest and Virginia W. Kettering residence halls are now without trash cans and feature packaging made from corn or sugar cane.

To make sure each type of waste ends up in the proper place, dining services has removed waste and recycling containers from dining rooms and is routing all dishes and disposables to tray conveyors, said Jim Froehlich, who manages dining services' systems and marketing. Staff separate the trash, recycling, compostable material and china in the kitchen. Cooks also will be trained on how to route meat scraps, produce trimmings and other food waste to appropriate containers.

Once the program is working optimally, the University of Dayton could be considered a sustainability leader among institutional dining operations of the University's size. Others include Ohio University, already considered a green leader because of its onsite composting program, and Emory University, which uses Orca Green, a biocomposting reactor in which microorganisms aerobically break down up to 1,600 pounds of organic waste per day into "gray water."

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or