Eco-Rep Green Corner: Campus trash doesn’t need to go to waste

When sitting down for a meal at Daly’s, have you ever wondered where the food goes once you place it on that conveyer belt? Did you know that 70 percent of the trash taken away from Rider is organic (food) material? In the United States, more than 25 million tons of food waste are produced each year. Only about 2 percent of that is currently composted.

Up until now, our food waste has gone to a landfill in Pennsylvania, but things have changed. We are now helping out the environment by collecting our organic waste to be composted. Rider University has teamed up with Waste Management (they haul away Rider’s trash and recyclables), and now food waste from both Daly’s and Cranberry’s is being sent to Converted Organics in Keasbey, N.J. Both liquid and solid organic waste, in the amount of approximately 8,000 pounds a week, is taken and re-purposed. According to the Converted Organics Web site, “Global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions is capturing the attention of everyone around the globe. Landfills are a major source of greenhouse gases and, as a result, are becoming an undesirable means of waste disposal.”

Converted Organics is a company that specializes in making organic fertilizer. “We use proven, state-of-the-art technologies and create a product that helps farmers and gardeners grow healthier food crops. Equally important, our recycling facilities have no negative environmental impacts on their host communities,” according to the Web site.

The fertilizer is safe to use for any plant life, including ones for human consumption. Unlike traditional fertilizer, you do not have to worry about small children or pets such as dogs playing near green fertilizers, since there are no dangerous chemicals. You can find Converted Organics products at Home Depot, Whole Foods and at the local McCaffrey’s or Primex Garden Center.

Eco-Reps from the green team at Rider will be in Daly’s from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today to talk about this fantastic green initiative. Come by to learn more about it.

For more information, contact Brad at speckb@rider.edu, or go to http://www.convertedorganics.com.

– Brad Speck

Lawrenceville Eco-Rep

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