By Phil Ruddle |Staff Writer|
Our campus is the home to thousands of students and must be kept clean in order to maintain a healthy living environment.
But is the campus being efficient when it comes to disposing waste? What happens with all the left-over food at the end of the day? Does it just get thrown out or do they keep them until the food is gone? What happens to all of the paper waste, recyclables and cans/bottles…?
Norwegian international student Tonje Lystad said, “I really think that they just take all of the food that doesn’t get eaten, put it in one giant trash can, and throw it in the dumpster.”
That’s a possibility, but when asked what she believes should be done instead she replied, “They should just make a compost pile and teach more students about it.”
Much to our surprise the food court employees in the Santos Manuel Student Union use an automated food waste tracking system at the end of every day.
What cleanliness methods are we using?
“We are using a system called Lean Path. This dishwasher/cook will weigh the amount of food that was wasted, upload the information to our Sodexo data and help figure out what’s driving our waste,” explains Emily Orquiza, Marketing Coordinator of Sodexo at our campus.
But how do we re-use this food instead of just tracking what was wasted?
“The kitchen and Commons needs to be re-done in order to incorporate composting equipment,” explained Dave Janosky, general manager for Dinning Services.
There basically is no way for the employees to transport the waste back to the farms because the entire kitchen structure is not set up to do so under health policy.
“The food in the Commons is always cooked to order. There are no left overs; we follow that style always,” said Janosky.
The only time food is ever preserved in the Commons is in the Deli. There is a strict protocol used that must be followed called Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points. This makes sure the food is cooled properly, stored, wrapped all at the right temperature, etc. Three days is the max that it can be preserved for.
How does our campus cleanliness compare to other campuses?
Student Stephanie Archambault is from Northern California and doesn’t think our campus is very eco-friendly.
“There are not as many recyclable bins or even enough regular trash cans,” said Archambault. “I’ve seen people throw their recyclables in the garbage all the time. No one cares to take the extra effort when it’s right in front of them. Things are just more green back home, everything is recyclable, even napkins.”
However, our campus is taking steps toward becoming more environmentally friendly.
“We’re currently in the process of working with the university to establish a recycling system,” said Orquiza.
Sodexo does not operate the recycling on campus and is trying to incorporate it in order to take more steps toward being eco-friendly.
Even though students such as Archambault don’t believe our campus is as clean or environmentally friendly as other schools, our school is working toward a more eco-friendly approach to waste management.
Lystad explained it perfectly, “I think our campus is very nice compared to the rest of the city. Everything around or outside the school is dirty, but when I step onto campus everything changes, it’s clean again as if I entered a new world.”