Pre- and post-consumer food waste from O'Hill and Newcomb Dining Rooms are sent to Panorama Pay-Dirt in Earlysville, Va, to be composted. Combined, these efforts divert 4.8 tons of food waste from the landfill every single week. Students are involved in soil testing to ensure that the product coming out of Panorama is safe and healthy. In the 2010 Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards, our composting program won a silver medal.
Trays were removed from the dining rooms at the start of the ‘08-’09 academic year. This conserves water and energy, and additionally reduces the need for cleaning chemicals.
The Campus Kitchens Project
The UVa chapter of the national Campus Kitchens Project is one of the latest to start at colleges and universities around the country in order to feed the underserved members of a particular community and also prevent food from ending up as landfill waste. Students take unused portions of dining room food - that has been deemed safe by the health inspector, prepare it as necessary in Runk, and serve meals to three local agencies. On Sundays they serve lunch at the Charlottesville Salvation Army; they serve between 80 and 100 community members there per week. They serve 12 community members on Tuesdays at Hope House, a transitional housing apartment complex for four formerly homeless families. On Wednesdays they serve 30 ot 40 meals at On Our Own, a mental health and addiction support center. They also receive food donations from the Local Food Hub every Friday in exchange for their help in labeling/organizing produce.
Recycling metal, plastics & paper
The award-winning U.Va. Recycling program collects all of Dining’s back of house recyclables, as well as provides containers and publicity materials in the front of the house for student recycling. Metal, plastic, and paper are all collected by U.Va. Recycling from all dining locations and administrative offices. 35% of dining waste is diverted from the landfill via recycling and 100% of potentially recyclable waste in the kitchens and offices is recycled.
Recycling 100% of cooking oil
U.Va. Dining has partnered with Charlottesville-based Greenlight Biofuels, a company that can process all of Dining’s used cooking oil into its clean burning biodiesel product.
U.Va. Dining works seamlessly with the University community in all endeavors related to sustainability. The Green Dining group is a part of that equation. We support U.Va. Recycling, the Office of Environmental Health & Safety, U.Va. Sustainability at Facilities Management, and student groups related to conservation.