Clearing the Table
Dining operations are a major contributor of waste on any college campus. At Muhlenberg, our team is fully committed to continuously finding ways to reduce waste and our carbon footprint throughout our operation and assessing programs to determine success. We see some of these programs as partnerships with our customers, sharing data and providing educational opportunities that have a global impact beyond the Muhlenberg campus.
Single Stream Recycling
Did you know Muhlenberg is a landfill-free campus? In an effort to minimize Muhlenberg’s carbon footprint all trash is sent to a waste-to-energy facility.
Muhlenberg College supports single stream recycling on campus. This means that all recyclable materials can be collected in the same recycling bin. These items include plastics labeled 1 through 7, paper, cardboard and other items.
The Office of Campus Sustainability provides recycling containers and informative recycling guides throughout campus, including our dining venues.
Not sure if it’s recyclable? Click here for our Tricky Recyclables Guide.
“Sustainable Waste Solutions is the leading provider of environmentally friendly commercial and industrial waste handling solutions throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley and Delaware.”
Meet the Pulper!
Upon the renovation of Seegers Union in 2010, a comprehensive waste system, including both a pulper and an extractor, were installed. On a daily basis, food waste is diverted to the pulper, mixed with water and transformed into a slurry. The end product creates 80% to 88% less volume than the initial waste which was fed into the pulper. Water removed by the extractor is pumped back to the pulper to be reused so that the overall water consumption of the process is lowered.
Currently, the pulper and extractor serve mainly to reduce the volume of waste produced by the Wood Dining Commons. Though our campus is landfill-free, reducing the volume of waste we produce reduces our carbon footprint by limiting the amount of fossil fuels which must be burned to haul waste between Muhlenberg and Sustainable Waste Solutions.
Grounds to Grounds is a collaboration between Muhlenberg Dining and Plant Operations that aims to reduce the amount of waste on campus. The initiative recycles used coffee grounds from on-campus dining venues and transforms them into a compostable product that is spread on campus grounds. Used coffee grounds are picked up on a daily basis and stored at a designated location where they naturally break down. Once ready, Plant Operations utilizes the compost as an amendment to the mulch on Muhlenberg's campus. The initiative diverts volume from our waste stream and helps to improve soil quality by providing additional nutrients and aeration.
Cooking Oil Recycling
Since 2010, Muhlenberg Dining has contracted FiltaFry for its cooking oil filtration and fryer management services. FiltaFry provides an eco-friendly, mobile onsite service for the micro-filtration of cooking oil.
Check out this short video to see how it works!