Did you know? In 2011 alone, more than 36 million tons of food waste was generated, with only four percent diverted from landfills and incinerators for composting.
Just like any other college or university, LIU Post is a large producer of food waste, and with over 7,000 students enrolled in FY2012, waste from the two main cafeterias on campus accounted for nearly 30% of the overall waste stream.
Amounting to over 600,000 pounds, Hillwood Commons, the central hub for all students at LIU Post and home to a number of dining establishments, generated 315,640 pounds of waste whereas the Winnick Student Center, the main cafeteria for nearly 2,000 residential students that live on campus generated even more waste – weighing in at 350,740 pounds.
Consisting mainly of packaging and food scraps, the waste generated at Hillwood and Winnick are disposed of in compactors, which are picked up 2-3 times per week by our waste hauler Jamaica Ash. From there, the contents of these compactors are landfilled, usually at a landfill that is out-of-state.
Being that a portion of this waste is recyclable though, the Department of Facilities Services has begun implementing a number of new recycling initiatives that will hopefully reduce the amount of waste that goes into the compactors in the future. For example, new cardboard containers have been added to the loading docks of both locations to ensure that cardboard will no longer be wasted. Instead, Jamaica Ash will pick up these containers separately from the compactors to be recycled rather than landfilled.
Facilities Services has also formed a partnership with Dining Services to test a new bottle and can recycling program at both Hillwood and Winnick.
With the input of the multiple stakeholders involved in the generation of trash at these two locations, we expect to significantly reduce the amount of waste that we send to landfills in the future.
As always, LIU Post is hard at work finding new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle!