Compost and Waste Reduction
On a national average, food waste comprises upwards of 7% of the municipal solid waste stream. Middlebury College Dining Services strives to reduce this number. Through collaboration with Facilities Management, Dining composts nearly 300 tons of food waste every year that is then turned into compost for use in campus greenhouses, gardens and soil amendment. Approximately 99% of pre-consumer food waste -- food prep scraps, packaging, trim, paper towels and cardboard -- are composted, as well as postconsumer food residuals, plate waste and napkins. Plate waste is also run through a pulper to remove excess water. During outdoor picnics and celebrations, Dining utilizes compostable plates, napkins, paper cups, and biodegradable trash bag liners. Whenever possible, Dining will substitute plastic utensils with biodegradable cornstarch utensils or silverware.