SUFS and OCRRA (Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency) have partnered on a composting program that helps divert several tons of food waste away from SUFS garbage dumpsters returning it back to its organic orgins.
SUFS collects fruit and vegetable matter discarded during food preparation plus uneaten food left on dining trays. This waste is collected in red bins in all major units daily. SUFS drivers pick up the full bins and drop off empty ones. The full bins are then emptied in a dumpster. Bins are cleaned and stored at the SU Commissary. Each week the dumpster of food waste is taken to the Amboy Compost Site in Camillus, NY where the process of becoming compost begins.
The recipe for compost seems simple: fresh air, yard-waste mulch, and time (30 days). OCRRA has it down to a science. SUFS is proud that we are able to take part in this exercise that brings our food waste full circle.
Other Sustainability Efforts
SUFS has proven it is easy to be sustainable while providing top rated service to its customers. Many efforts are underway in our award-winning dining operations. Purchasing products locally, whenever possible, either directly from the producer or through local distributors cuts down on the miles a product has to travel to our campus. Some of the vendors providing locally grown or produced food items include Beak & Skiff, Paul deLima, Freedom of Espresso, Hofmann Sausage Co, Byrne Dairy, Chobani Greek Yogurt, and Crowley Yogurt. One of our larger suppliers is Allen's Produce, a NY produce company that grows, cultivates, freezes, and packages vegetables that are locally grown.
Recycling has long been a part of Food Services' daily routine. In accordance with OCRRA, the following items are recycled: glass, cans, plastic, office paper, paper board, and corrugated cardboard. Batteries, ink , and toner cartridges are also collected and sent out for recycling. Used fryer oil is collected and recycled; some is used to make bio-diesel fuel by SUNY-ESF.
At the beginning of the fall semester, every student on a meal plan is issued a re-usable bottle. This sustainable bottle gives the students the option to take a beverage out with them at the end of their dining center meal. Since instituting the free reusable bottles, the dining centers have been able to eliminate pre-packaged beverages. This keeps excess bottles and cans out of our landfills and recycling plants.
In addition to the reusable bottles, the dining centers offer eco-friendly take-out containers for students to take their meal out of the dining center. These containers are a great option; they create less waste and eliminate the polystryrene containers used by many food service operations. Campus cafes, student centers and food courts use PLA pastic and/or sugar cane base take out containers. Polystryrene cups have been eliminated from the Dunkin' Donuts and Freshens franchises on campus as well.
In an effort to cut back on the number of cups used each day, SUFS cafes invite faculty and staff to be a part of their Mug Club. Instead of using a disposable cup for a beverage, the Mug Club encourages sustainability by giving a 20% discount to anyone using the Mug Club. There are several other discounts throughout the week as well as monthly specials.