Students in Southeast
Community College’s Culinary/Hospitality program are helping to save the
environment by composting all of the food waste that comes in and out of the
classroom labs and the student-run Course Restaurant.
“In an industry that has a
lot of waste, it is nice to know that I am doing my small part to help make a
change,” said Natalie Barrett, Culinary/Hospitality student.
“I love that we compost at
SCC!” added Kiera Lococo, another student. “Composting
is one of the ways I try to be conscious of my carbon footprint, along with
recycling and buying local produce.”
“We strive for sustainability in our program and have been doing
that when it comes to purchasing our produce and meats from as many local
vendors as we can, and recycling as much as we can in our labs and in the
restaurant and coffee shop,” said Rob Epps, program director. “The next step
was composting, really looking for more ways to be as sustainable and
responsible as we can.”
Students use designated
containers in the classrooms for the compost, which is taken to the collection
bin outside. All raw foods, including meat, vegetables, egg shells, tea and
coffee grounds, fish bones, paper products, waxed cardboard, and untreated
bamboo and wood are able to be composted.
“I was excited to implement
composting into our program to help increase our students’ sustainability
awareness,” said Angela Cheever, Course Restaurant manager. “It is my hope that
as our graduates enter the workforce they will encourage other businesses to
focus on implementing their own sustainability efforts.”
Eventually compost is turned
into dark soil, which can be sold to farms or gardeners for landscaping. Benefits
of composting include adding nutrients to the soil, recycling waste, reducing
landfill waste, and reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.