A close-up of new leaves on a tree.

Sustainability is an integral part of how we teach, work, and play at Middlebury, and we are committed to pushing those boundaries as far as we can go in many ways.

300 tons of food composted each year
99% pre-consumer food waste composted
32% annual food budget spent locally

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 post-consumer 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. 

Read more about our reusable container program.

Local Food

Dining Services is committed to supporting local food systems. Our goal is to provide the highest quality and best tasting food to our students as well as to create a dining experience that engages with our community and our environment. 

Read more about our commitment to local food.