The College of Charleston’s City Bistro has launched a new composting program, and more than 1,800 pounds of waste material were collected in the first week. Faculty, staff and students are familiar with tossing food and trash into the dining facility’s giant pulper, and until now, that waste was going to the county landfill. That has changed now that Charleston County is operating the only commercial composting facility approved by DHEC in the state.
“We are very excited about City Bistro’s commitment towards a greener campus and more sustainable practices,” says Jan Brewton, the director of Business and Auxiliary Services. “The amount of waste diversion will save money and contribute to the College’s overall sustainability efforts.”
City Bistro, located in Berry Residence Hall, only had to make minor changes like switching to compostable plastics and disposables, since many of the products were already recyclable. Now, all food scraps, cups, cutlery, napkins, and containers dumped into the pulper are fully compostable. Water is extracted from the waste and the material is put into a container with a compostable liner for pick-up.
“It’s a seamless, safe and efficient way to take out the trash,” says Wayne Koeckeritz, owner of Food Waste Disposal, a company that will collect the waste material three times a week and deliver it to the county’s commercial composting facility. For every 2,000 pounds of compostable material collected, Food Waste Disposal will return 40 pounds of compost or soil to the College, to be used by the grounds department.
City Bistro also has a new “to-go” program that features a reusable green clamshell. The reusable containers are provided free of charge to students who purchase residential meal plans. Others can buy the container for $3.