Friday, October 25, 2013

It’s Sustainability Week at KU

Creating meals for thousands upon thousands of students daily in 22 locations campus wide

KU Dining's rooftop garden on the 6th floor of the Kansas Union
This is the charge of KU Dining Services who, under the auspices of the KU Memorial Unions, is responsible for feeding the multitudes at KU. With increasing focus on sustainability-related issues and how to make a difference in day-to-day life, one of the widest reaching areas is food. Asking, “Where does it come from?” and “How is it disposed of?” are key issues for our campus and community.
KU Dining is quite mindful of its role and how much of an impact effective sustainable practices play in its operations and ultimately in campus life. Given the number of students, faculty, staff and visitors who dine on campus daily, sustainability opportunities abound, from recycling paper cups, wrappers, bags, and plastic bottles to repurposing post-consumer food waste.
KU Dining Services has taken a pro-active approach in reducing waste and promoting sustainability initiatives. Successful partnerships with campus organizations, local businesses and communities have poised KU Dining Services as a leader among peer institutions in this arena. KU Dining’s partners include KU Center for Sustainability, Rock Chalk Recycle, KU Biofuels Research, Daily Bread, Pur-O-Zone, Coca-Cola, Sysco, KC and Missouri Organics, to name a few.
Since embarking on its sustainability efforts, KU Dining has realized some impressive results:
  • In partnership with KU Recycling, the following massive amounts are kept out of the landfill annually:
    • 145 tons of cardboard
    • 6 tons of paper
    • 7 tons of steel cans
  • KU Dining Services donates over 150 gallons of used cooking oil each week to support KU Biofuels Research efforts
  • Tray-free service in residential dining centers reduced thousands of tons of consumer waste:
    • 37% reduction in food waste
    • 55% reduction in beverage waste
    • 20% reduction in paper waste
  • Partnering with Missouri Organics, over 500 tons of compostable materials are diverted from the landfill annually
  • KU Dining's Roof Top Garden has produced over 320 pounds of homegrown herbs, tomatoes, and peppers atop the Kansas Union
  • In partnership with Daily Bread, donated food is collected and distributed to local shelters and food banks
While these results are impressive, look for KU Dining to continue its pursuit toward a more sustainable KU!
See you at the U!