Massey University finds solution to disposal of food waste.
Massey University has recently completed trialling a unique product for collecting and processing food waste on campus, at Palmerston North New Zealand.
The locally designed kitchen waste bin is made from 100% recycled cardboard and has a cornstarch bag liner. The kitchen waste bin was installed in staff rooms and common rooms throughout the university over a six-week period. The cornstarch liner was removed and weighed twice weekly. As the food waste collection rapidly increased in volume, larger bins were installed in the busier common rooms and staff rooms to accommodate the amount of food waste being deposited.
“The cornstarch bag breathes allowing the food to dehydrate,” says Massey University Regional Facilities Manager Ken McEwen.
“The food waste begins to break down aerobically in the bag, without any bad odour and there is no need for washing or transporting any bins.”
He says the trials have exceeded expectations and he has been overwhelmed with the positive response from Massey students and staff.
"The general acceptance of such a simple yet effective method for collecting food waste can make huge changes for Massey University. Separating food waste from the waste stream has proved problematic, but this solution from local company Disbin Limited offers a whole new perspective and a water free solution.”
“What we now have is a low cost, low carbon method of preventing food contamination in recyclable waste,” says Mr McEwen. He says the water savings from not having to wash waste bins is another bonus.
Regional Facilities Management needed to measure the volumes of food waste currently going to landfill in the general waste, before setting up a composting programme on campus.
"By adding Massey campus green waste and paper towels to the food waste collected, we are now able to produce quality compost to return to our own gardens."
Plans for a commercial composter or worm farm are now being considered as currently the food waste collected on campus goes to a city council composting plant.
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