KINGSTON, ON, Nov. 10 /CNW/ - Two colossal composters have recently found a home on the Queen's campus. They're the first of their kind in Canada, and they will have a substantial impact on campus sustainability.
"These composters will help us achieve a 95 per cent diversion rate," says Phil Sparks, Sodexo's Resident District Manager of Food Services at Queen's, "meaning that 95 per cent of the organic food waste on campus is being diverted from landfills by being composted. Leonard Hall alone produces four metric tonnes of organic waste a week, so the composters will have a major impact on reducing our carbon footprint."
The initiative started a year ago when a 100kg composter was installed in Leonard Hall as a pilot project. It reduced the weight of the organic waste by 85 per cent in 18 hours, and turned it into a soil supplement that's being used on campus. The new composters in Leonard and Ban Righ Halls have a 300kg capacity each and finish their cycle in 14 hours. The massive machines cost $100,000 each, but were donated to Queen's.
"There was no cost for Queen's, they were purchased by Sodexo as part of their sustainability investment in the campus," says Bruce Giffiths, Director of Housing and Hospitality Services. "Sodexo is part of our campus sustainability group, and our team is constantly looking for new ideas. This technology only became available in the last year and it's a perfect example of Queen's being ahead of the curve on sustainability initiatives."
The composters are actually too small to handle all of the organic waste produced on campus, most of which comes from trays in the dining halls. The size was purchased on purpose, because an educational program to prevent waste in the first place is being implemented.
"We purchased equipment that can handle our organic waste target," adds Mr. Sparks. "Now that we have the backend in place, we are targeting the front end to get students to think about how much waste they're producing. Just because something can be recycled doesn't mean we should use more of it."
Mr. Giffiths agrees.
"Some campuses are simply removing trays from the dining halls so you have to take less food," he adds. "We're not interested in forcing choices on our customers. We want our students to have the power to make their own decisions. We want to educate them in the dining halls, and we want them to take that knowledge with them when they leave the campus community."
To read more about the sustainability initiatives at Queen's, visit www.queensu.ca/sustainability.
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexo.com), part of the international Sodexo Group, is the leading comprehensive service solutions company in the Canada, the US and Mexico, with $5.7 billion in annual revenue and 120,000 employees. Sodexo serves more than ten million customers daily in corporations, health care, hotels, long term care and retirement centers, schools, college campuses, government and remote sites. Sodexo Canada, Ltd funds the Sodexo Foundation an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 2001, has donated more than 500,000 free meals to at risk youth in Canada.
SOURCE Sodexo Canada
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