At UVM, we believe in recycling our food scraps back into soil. Composting is a process that takes residual organic material-- e.g., food scraps, leftovers, yard waste and animal manure-- and turns it into a nutrient-rich product called "compost." We support the local economy and local growers by composting our food waste and keeping it out of the landfill and out of the wastewater treatment system. In an average week, UVM diverts almost 9 tons -- that's 18,000 lbs-- of pre-consumer and post-consumer food scraps from the landfill.
Food waste and compostable packaging is collected from several campus locations each day. We contract with a private hauler for this collection service. We send the food waste and compostable packaging to Green Mountain Compost , a composting facility located in nearby Williston which is owned by the Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD).
Most of our food waste is picked up by our contracted hauler, Casella, using a specially designed Hybrid-powered truck which is equipped with a hydraulic bucket that dumps "toter" style carts into the back of the truck. The carts are lined with a special compostable bag liner made from corn. These bags help keep the insides of the carts moderately clean, and the truck can simply dump the carts and then go on its way. (Periodically, the carts do require a washing out off site.)
This summer, in 2012, we are pilot testing a new collection system for offices with the help of One Revolution, a local bicycle service. Read more about it here.