University of Washington Housing and Food Services was recognized as Recycler of the Year for overcoming significant barriers to expand residence hall recycling. Assisted by a residence hall student organization, SEED (Students Expressing Environmental Determination), HFS created a program for composting post-consumer food in dining halls and other food outlets. Using preferred purchasing practices to “push the composting envelope,” in less than a year, compost collection increased from 279 back-of-the house food scrap toters in January 2007 to 1047 front and back of the house toters in October 2007--equivalent to more than 32 tons of compostables diverted from the garbage. HFS now has recycling and compost collection in all 22 food services areas and uses one of the most complete compostable serviceware packaging lines in the region.
"The Washington State Recycling Association has selected the UW Department of Housing and Food Services (HFS) as the winner of the 2008 Washington State Recycler of the Year award in the category Institution of Higher Learning.
HFS says the recognition is the result of a lot of hard work by its staff and by students, including members of Students Expressing Environmental Dedication (SEED), a UW residence hall environmental group. They add that success has also depended on customers — students, faculty and staff — who are willing to follow HFS recycling and composting suggestions.
HFS will receive the award at the 28th Annual Washington State Recycling Conference and Trade Show, May 18--21."