With its latest addition, the College of the Rockies will look to reduce food waste at the Cranbrook campus from its cafeteria, Professional Cook program, and Class Act Dining Room.
The College said the new composter will be used to help reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and provide compost for campus gardens. The new equipment was paid for, in part, with a $30,000 grant from Columbia Basing Trust.
“We are excited to have a new composter in use at our Cranbrook campus and grateful to the Trust for their support of this initiative,” said Allan Knibbs, Director of Facilities at the College. “One of our key values at the College includes caring for the future of each other and of our communities. Helping to reduce our environmental footprint is one way we are able to achieve this goal.”
The new composting program is being introduced on a limited scale, however, as the reduced number of people on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to decreased food waste.
“Our long-term goal is to reduce the amount of food waste destined for the landfill to zero,” said Greg McCallum, Sustainability Committee chair. “Not only will this help to reduce our environmental footprint but will also provide our facilities crew with some amazing compost for gardens and plants on our campuses.”
The College said its Sustainability Committee, which spearheaded the project, will launch an educational campaign to encourage all staff and students to compost their food waste, once the campus is back in full operation.
The grant from CBT covered about one-third of the cost to purchase and install the equipment.
“This initiative is a great way the College can reduce their food waste and make an impact on their environmental footprint,” said Brianna Burley, Columbia Basin Trust Manager, Environment. “We are excited to support projects like this one that align with our commitment to strengthen environmental well-being in the region.”