Going Green: Butler University now composting dining hall food leftovers

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 28, 2015) – One college campus is going green with leftover food. Butler University is now composting their dining hall food waste — something many universities haven’t tried yet, partly because starting-up can be costly.

Butler’s Student Government Association pitched in $4,500 dollars in funding for a year-long pilot program. The university is also partnering with “Green Cycle of Indiana” and “Green with Indy to make it possible.

Students and chefs will toss any leftovers in compost bins on Tuesdays and Fridays. Organizers say it’s a simple change that can greatly impact the environment.

“Keeping food out of the trash is important from a greenhouse gas standpoint and then it also can be composted and turned into nutrient rich fertilizer, which can sell for a lot of money so there’s an economic benefit there to saving that food waste and turning into something we can use,” said McKenzie Beverage, Butler University Sustainability Coordinator.

The program just started around Earth Day, but Beverage and some of her students have been studying campus waste for a while. A recent trash audit showed food waste was already reduced by 73 percent and 38 percent less recyclables are ending up in the trash.

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