North Central College was awarded a grant through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Illinois Food Scrap Composting grants program to begin a composting program in Kaufman Dining Hall.
Receiving this grant is a direct result of last winter’s food waste audit, performed by SGA student volunteers to determine the amount of food waste thrown-out by students each day. This audit was the first step in developing a program and provided the data necessary to apply for the grant. Grant money will cover the costs of upgrades to the plate-return area and loading dock at the dining hall to accommodate the new program. The College will be working with a local composting facility, Compost Supply, which generates compost to create a nutrient-rich additive for roof-top garden soils.
Starting Sept. 1, everyone who eats in Kaufman Dining Hall will scrape food waste from their plates into designated bins, rather than place all waste on the rotating plate-return machine. This small change in behavior will make a big impact. Food waste audits estimate that implementing this new practice could prevent nearly 37 tons of food waste each year from being hauled to a landfill or treated at a wastewater facility.