February 27, 2015

Campus switches to compostable dining ware

By Raquel Wolter–

With the University of Louisville’s Green Initiative, students have noticed many changes around campus. There are just as many recycle bins as waste bins it seems, and recently, U of L has integrated compost bins.

They have also made changes in the materials some of the on-campus dining services use, in hopes to further the initiative. The Cardinal Burger Company, along with the rest of campus, previously used plastic products such as forks, knives, straws, plates and bowls. They have recently switched over to compostable products, meaning almost everything the Cardinal Burger Company uses to serve food can be composted.

That is, as long as the compost bins are not contaminated with other plastics, like bottles and especially plastic bags.

The compost bins are taken to a few different sorting facilities in and around Louisville, each of which have different thresholds for the amount of contamination any one bin can have, and it still be composted.

This is not just a problem for compost bins, however. U of L Sodexo says the issue of students not putting things in the right bins extends campuswide between the waste, recycle and compost bins.

“The black, circular bins we see all over campus, are actually taken out to compost. The facility we take it to has a higher threshold for contamination, and can sort through, basically whatever students put in there,” said Charlie Clabaugh from Sodexo.

Photo by Rachel Essa / The Louisville Cardinal

2 thoughts on “Campus switches to compostable dining ware

  1. The last paragraph contains a factual error which could be confusing and misleading for students. What it should say is that the waste in all of our OUTDOOR trash cans are sorted by QRS Recycling to pull out recyclables (plastic, glass, metal, cardboard, paper), NOT compost. Food waste thrown in any bin on campus not marked as being for compost will, in fact, be sent to the landfill and may ruin a load of material that could otherwise be recycled.
    – Dr. Justin Mog
    UofL’s Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives.

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