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 SRU Students to Use Grant to Evaluate Cafeteria Waste for Recycling Project 

 

SPOTLIGHT

3/10/2004

Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail: karl.schwab@sru.edu

SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY STUDENTS TO EVALUTE CAFETERIA WASTE

FOR USE AT CAMPUS COMPOSTING FACILITY WITH $36,623 STATE RECYCLING GRANT

             SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Graduate students in Slippery Rock University's enviromental education program will dig through waste generated at an on-campus food court to determine if trash generated there can be turned into usable compost as part of a newly approved $36,623 grant from Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection’s Recycling Grant Program.

          The grant was awarded to SRU’s College of Health Environment and Science through an application filed jointly with the Butler County Department of Recycling and Waste Management. The funding is part of the 902 Municipal Recycling Program that annually funds a variety of recycling equipment and recycling research projects across the commonwealth.

Under SRU’s plan, four master’s degree graduate assistants will spend two semesters studying waste generated at Rocky’s Grille, a popular campus cafeteria located in the University Union, to determine if it is feasible to initiate compost use of waste food serviceware, including disposable plates, cups and utensils.

Work on the project will begin March 21 with a “waste sort” -- a study of the waste currently being produced at the eatery. In addition, the compost site at SRU’s Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable System Education and Research on Harmony Road will be studied to determine if more materials can be incorporated into the site’s current compost operation. Project officials say if the results are positive, a plan will be developed to collect and transport appropriate materials generated at the grille.

The grant also funds construction of a new concrete storage area for the compost materials, a storage area for finished compost and a new compost screener at the center. Composting is seen as a way to reduce the quantity of waste sent to landfills and creates a valuable gardening material that improves soil health. The university currently receives leaves collected from Slippery Rock Borough along with pre-consumer food waste from university cafeterias for use in its compost operation. Compost produced at the Macoskey Center is used at the center and in related projects.

For more information about these projects contact Robin Boldosser or Jesse Kucenic in the College of Health, Environment and Science at 724-738-4862; the Macoskey Center at 724-738-0606; or the Butler County Department of Recycling and Waste Management at 724-284-5305.

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