June 29, 2009
Queen's University is set to expand its organic waste collection program by capturing food waste from its kitchens and sending it offsite to a composting facility. The program is similar to the City of Kingston's Green Bin Program and will ensure that all compostable items such as meat, dairy products, produce, coffee grounds, paper towels and napkins, uncoated paper take-out containers, cups, plates, and pizza boxes go into organics bins, rather than the garbage bins.
According to the 2005 campus waste audit, roughly 28% of the landfill waste stream consists of organic material. Until recently, the options for diverting this type of waste has been limited to a pilot project at Leonard Hall kitchen, which involves collecting food waste and sending it to a Corrections Canada facility with limited capacity. With the opening of Norterra Organics in Kingston, combined with the services of the campus waste hauler, WSI, Queen's can now reduce the organic waste content of the campus landfill stream. Queen's Sustainability Office anticipates that once up and running, the program will divert more than 300 tonnes of food waste annually.
In its initial phase, the program will target the food waste from kitchen areas, including the Donald Gordon Centre, the University Club, Ban Righ Dining Hall, MacCorry Cafeteria, and the JDUC Sidewalk Café. As an extension of the waste services provided by WSI, the organics bins will be picked up on a weekly schedule and routed to the Norterra Organics composting site.
Other food service locations in the JDUC, BeamishMunro, West Campus, Vic Hall, Biosciences and Botterell will join the organic waste program throughout the summer and fall.
Organics bins were delivered to sites on Tuesday, June 16 and the first official organics pick up is scheduled for Thursday, June 25.
The Waste Collection Program is administered through the Queen's Sustainability Office and any questions or concerns should be forwarded to Llynwen Osborne or Aaron Ball.