Clemson University’s Recycling Services once again pulled ahead of the competition and scored first place in the EPA Food Recovery Challenge for Region 4. EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge includes organizations such as educational institutions, restaurants, sports and entertainment venues and others that pledge to improve their sustainable food management practices and report their results. Recycling manager Dave VanDeventer and recycling coordinator Brittany Morra recently traveled to Atlanta to accept the annual award.
Officials in this competition cited Clemson’s dedication to converting as much food waste to compost as possible. The victory is primarily based on the gross volume of compost recycled in relation to the school’s size. Over the past year, Clemson produced approximately 440,000 pounds of compost with waste converted onsite at the Cherry Crossing Research Facility. The compost is used for landscaping projects on campus and is also sold to the surrounding communities.
The increase in recycled food waste corresponds with a campus-wide increase in zero-waste events, such as summer orientation dinners and the annual freshman picnic. Thanks to Aramark’s participation and the generous work of student volunteers, most athletic games (basketball, football, etc.) have steadily approached zero-waste.
As part of this ongoing trend, Recycling Services has coordinated with Littlejohn Coliseum operations to sponsor a special zero-waste basketball game on Feb. 28. The department also plans on maintaining the competitive spirit by participating in the national Recycle-Mania against 600 other colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada.
Recycling Services is actively seeking volunteers to assist with events throughout campus and welcome students to help contribute to this effort. Those interested are encouraged to contact the department by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.