HSU’s food-waste diversion program was a part of Humboldt Waste Management Authority’s pilot program to examine ways to best implement a commercial food-waste diversion program in the area. HSU was the first commercial adopter of the program and was repeatedly recognized by HMWA as instrumental in the pilot program’s success. However, a variety of complex factors outside of HSU’s control contributed to HMWA’s decision to terminate their food-waste diversion services at the start of 2014.
HSU’s Office of Sustainability has been working to examine alternatives, but the financial and logistical challenges are too onerous for HSU to maintain their own food-waste diversion program at this time. Appropriate campus entities are meeting with municipal and community stakeholders to develop a lasting solution to diverting food waste and hope to have a plan in place by the start of the Fall 2014 semester. The lower volume campus composting program run by the Waste Reduction and Resource Awareness Program (WRRAP) will continue collecting from campus composting bins and buckets and process them in campus’s recently installed Earth Tub which handles a larger volume than WRRAP was able to process in the past.
Many thanks go out to the staff from Dining Services, Housing Grounds and the Office of Sustainability, and the students of WRRAP who all contributed to make the program successful. As we develop a long-term program the information gained from the pilot program is of great value in our planning process.