Sustainability at USM

Ending Food Waste at USM

USM won the EPA Region 1 Food Recovery Challenge award for 2014 & 2015 by reducing the overall amount of unutilized food on our three campuses. Read about how the staff of the Office of Sustainability at USM is working to cut down on food waste, both on and off campus.


Award-winning USM sustainability efforts to focus more attention on food waste in dining hall


POSTED DECEMBER 11, 2015  USM Sustainability's Steve Sweeney scraping a half-eaten salad into a barrel

GORHAM -- Steve Sweeney scraped a half-eaten salad into a barrel and then peeked inside at the early lunch scraps: cheese, bananas, a nibbled upon sandwich and an untouched slice of jam-covered toast.

"Look at that," Sweeney said, pointing and groaning. By the end of lunch, the pile of waste had grown to about 85 pounds, or just over five ounces for each of the 266 students who ate lunch at the Gorham Campus's Brooks Dining Hall that day.

"It's a substantial amount of food," said Sweeney, Resource Recovery Supervisor for USM's Department of Facilities Management. "We can do better."

Waste food at the dining hall accumulates at a rate of about 3,000 pounds per week, he said. Twice each week, a Gorham farmer hauls away the accumulated scraps to feed his pigs.

But Sweeney wants the waste to be reduced.

In January, when students return from their winter break, Sweeney and others plan to kick off an education campaign aimed at encouraging the people who use the dining hall to eat as much as they wish ... and eat what they take.

...Read More! Full article available here Award-Winning USM Sustainability Efforts Focus More Attention on Food Waste.