Campus News

UK Dining, UK Recycling Implement New Composting Program

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2017) — University of Kentucky Dining and UK Recycling have partnered with Seedleaf — a community organization — to implement a new composting program at K-Lair and Freshii. While UK Dining works hard to minimize how much food ends up in the landfill, food preparation comes with some unavoidable waste — cantaloupe rinds and onion skins, for example. This waste, in a landfill, can become a major environmental problem — but given the right composting conditions, it can break down into a rich soil additive valued by farmers and gardeners.

The new composting program will divert fruit and vegetable waste from the landfill, sending them to Seedleaf. Seedleaf composts locally and provides the finished materials free of charge to Lexington gardeners.

Seedleaf Executive Director Ryan Koch said, “We are glad for this new partnership with the University of Kentucky. Our 15 free u-pick community gardens are strengthened whenever we incorporate finished compost. At this point, we are generating so much compost from our 31 compost partners that we have enough to share with area gardeners at no cost. Adding prep waste from UK will create even more material that will help keep Fayette County gardens productive and successful.”

UK Dining Sustainability Manager Lauren Renee Moore agrees.

“My goal is for UK Dining to be good for people and the planet,” Moore said. “With Seedleaf, we can limit our environmental impact and support a great community organization at the same time.”

Composting is one of many sustainability initiatives undertaken by UK Dining. With the addition of the program, K-Lair has quickly become one of the most sustainable dining options on campus. This semester, K-Lair has eliminated Styrofoam and increased recycling in the kitchen.

The new compost program began the week of April 17. UK Dining estimates 200 pounds of fruit and vegetable waste will be diverted from the landfill weekly.