– March 29th, 2013 by Anurup Upadhyay –
The rot

1000 pounds of food wasted each day

Mike Heffernan, general manager of Sodexo Dining Services at Colby-Sawyer College, stated Feb. 20 that increasing amounts of leftovers thrown out by Colby-Sawyer students and faculty during meals have intensified cost and quality related pressures.

Heffernan pointed out that waste of food and drinks is keeping the budget from being utilized in a manner that would better serve the meal-plan holders at the dining hall.

“There is a lot of food that gets put into the pig bucket, and it goes to a pig farmer,” he said, “We are not here to feed the pigs, [but] we are feeding [them] really well….barrels upon barrels.”

Heffernan underlined that each weekday dining hall staff ends up with around 1000 pounds of leftovers for the pig farm.

Similar is the case with drinks, Heffernan added. “The bill [for the second week of February] for all beverage products was $2500,” he said, “And, I [just] think how much of [that money] is going down the drain?”

He underlined that cutting costs by minimizing throw-outs could create room for the management to provide additional services that are desired by students and faculty.

While Heffernan and the dining hall staff are working with freshman Victoria Dake, an Eco Rep on campus, to devise ways to tackle this issue, many Colby-Sawyer students are not entirely aware of the problem.

Sophomore Sukriti Raut, a healthcare management major and a part-time dining hall staff, expressed surprise when she learnt about the 1000 pound-a-day figure. “I do notice the waste at the cafeteria,” Raut added. “However, I could never have guessed that the scale was this large.”

The full-time dining hall staffs just hope students understood better. Employee Teresa Gallagher thinks that students’ attitudes toward waste must change.

“Students feel as if they can throw food and drinks out because they have paid for it,” Gallagher underscored. “What they fail to see is that this might eventually drive up their meal-plan prices.”

Taking a different angle, Senior Ashley Reynolds, an environmental studies major, opined that while it is great to see Colby-Sawyer installing solar panels and minimizing paper usage in its efforts toward sustainability, it is crucial that the college direct students’ attention toward food waste in the dining hall. “This also is a sustainability issue,” she added.

“And God knows what is happening at the [Lethbridge] Lodge,” Reynolds remarked.

One Response to “1000 pounds of food wasted each day”

  1. Kimberly Slover says:

    This is a well-written story about an important issue. I hope that a lot of people who eat in the dining hall read this, and realize the costs and other impacts of wasting food.

    Would it be possible to create posters to placed in the dining hall to educate people about how much food is wasted? We are all concerned about the environment, and if we were all more aware of the negative impacts of our behavior, and could simply take smaller portions, we could collectively have a huge positive impact on both budgets and the environment, and be able to increase the quality of our meals.

    Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention.

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