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Miami aims toward zero waste: Pizza box composting trials and RecycleMania
Part two of a series about sustainability pilot programs this month focusing on recycling and composting
With the recent replacement of the trash compactor at the Demske Culinary Support Center (DCSC) with a 30-yard organic compactor, Miami has started to include organic waste in the recycling stream. The organic compactor has also allowed for implementation of several composting and recycling pilot projects on campus this month.
The pilots are designed to test the recommendations of the Solid Waste Lean Team, which has worked since last summer on a plan to help divert a majority of Miami's waste from the landfill by 2017 and to begin recycling organic wastes before 2014 – without increasing costs.
Learn more about Miami's efforts towards zero waste at Miami 0 Waste.
RecycleMania competition – Miami participating in the “Targeted Materials: Food Service Organics” category
Miami is one of the co-founders of the RecycleMania national collegiate recycling competition. Since the contest’s beginning in 2001 between Ohio University and Miami, it has grown to include nearly 650 schools in the U.S and Canada this year.
The number of competition categories has also grown from the original “Per Capita Classic” that Miami has entered each year of RecycleMania.
This year Miami is participating for the first time in the “Targeted Materials: Food Service Organics” category.
Pre- and post-consumer food waste will be collected in the organic compactor at the DCSC.
The eight-week tournament runs from Feb. 3 through March 30.
Eco Reps promote pizza box composting pilot program in residence halls
Not surprisingly, pizza boxes are a significant portion of our waste stream on campus, according to Yvette Kline, director of sustainability and energy conservation. Though greasy and hard to recycle, the boxes are compostable.
During each of five two-week trials, residents in the participating halls can place pizza boxes, pizza leftovers and napkins in special large, wheeled bins.
Housekeeping and trucking services staff will coordinate the collection, counting and transport of the boxes to the Demske organic compactor.
Track the progress of the participating residence halls at Miami 0 Waste.
The first two-week trial period ended Feb. 8; the pizza box composting pilot program will continue through April 12.
"A test of our individual commitment and willingness to change behavior"
Check your building's recycling score at Miami 0 Waste.
“Misplaced items – a coffee cup in the recycling bin, plastics in the compost bin - can cause contamination and send valuable resources to the landfill.
The pilots are a good test not only of these techniques, but also of our individual commitment and willingness to change behavior,” Kline said.
Along with the pizza box composting pilot at residence halls, other pilot projects this month include a composting pilot at King Cafe; single stream recycling pilots at King Library, Scott Hall and Cole Service Building; and reusable coffee mugs at Bell Tower and Dividend$.