Today marks the launch of our new pilot program in Suzzallo Cafe in partnership with WOOF, a group of UW engineers working on 3D printing using recycled plastics. This program will re-capture used compostable plastic utensils from Suzzallo and divert these materials to WOOF for use in 3D printing. The program itself is designed to scale up to WOOF's needs, and we're ready to expand into other high-traffic cafes (like the UW Tower) if this initial phase is successful.
Of course, we're super excited about this project, and we expect it to be successful and to expand rather quickly. In fact, we see it as a "win" for everyone involved. It benefits UW by eliminating fees for landfilling or composting these utensils, and it benefits WOOF members by providing them with costly raw materials. In addition, it will someday benefit UWGP and UW Recycling, as WOOF has agreed to begin printing compost bins for us to distribute across campus once supply and production increase. In the near future, then, this project will allow us to re-invest our recycled waste into better waste-diversion infrastructure on campus.
Thanks to Ivan Banning, UW HFS in general, UW Recycling, UW CAP, and WOOF for helping to put this together. Again, we're excited about this initiative and hopeful for its future.