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Toolkit Resources to help Understand and Manage Campus Food Waste

Join AASHE to start to develop an understanding of how and where your campus generates food waste (FW) and then how you can use that to lay out a framework to create a comprehensive food waste management plan.

It’s everywhere on our campuses! It is obvious that FW is generated in dining facilities, but to-go boxes, grab and go, catering events, on-campus apartments also contribute to the complex and dispersed manner in which waste is generated, which complicates its collection for recovery or recycling. Getting a handle on the nature of FW generation is a critical first step towards developing a comprehensive FW management plan. The goal of this workshop is to help campus teams develop the skills and resources necessary to initiate or expand their FW Management Plans. We will use a toolkit throughout the workshop to walk attendees through the process of identifying sources of FW; auditing or estimating food waste generation; understanding the culture and attitudes of your campus toward managing FW; and identifying relevant collection, recovery or recycling options to keep this resource out of landfills.

The toolkit we will use was recently developed based on a five-university comprehensive FW management study and review of efforts on a number of other campuses. The toolkit includes education and outreach materials, templates and instructions for each step in the process of understanding and managing your FW from sources across campus.

The tools and resources help to connect groups on a campus who have the same goals. Dining services, Fac Ops, and Students all have sustainability goals that they are encouraged to reach including climate action plans on campuses. Each of these groups need each other to reach these goals. The information from our project is valuable to all of the groups and working together helps engender trust, connection, and understanding. Thus, participation by campus teams is encouraged with representatives who manage waste (sustainability or facilities), students and dining services. Each team will work together to start to understand their own FW issues and apply the templates and process to their own campus. Participants will take home tangible work representing a start of their own efforts to implement a plan on their own campus.

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