40th Street Restaurants Begin Composting Pilot

April 13, 2015

The practice of composting is growing on Penn’s campus. Post-consumer food waste is collected in Houston Hall, for example, and this type of composting is also part of some offices’ qualifications for the Green Office program. This Spring, the collection of pre-consumer food waste will be piloted in the retail restaurants along 40th Street. Education on composting for those who do food prep at Harvest, Smokey Joe’s, Greek Lady, and Hip City Veg has already begun, with plans for collection of this type of waste to begin near the end of April.

This composting program is designed to collect kitchen scraps used in food preparation and keep it out of the waste going to landfills. Penn’s Facilities & Real Estate team and the Solid Waste Management Working Group estimate that this new system could reduce by 50% the number of pick-ups by solid waste haulers from the restaurants on this block, cutting costs for waste collection services and the amount of fuel used by landfill-bound trucks. Collecting food scraps in specially designed compost bins – similar to those now used in Moravian Court – puts less organic waste into the regular dumpsters, greatly reducing the opportunity for pests. 

The expansion of composting to these dining establishments fulfills part of the Climate Action Plan 2.0 commitment to extend the University’s sustainability efforts to our on-campus retailers.

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