K-State Awarded for Being Waste Wise

EPA Award

Photo By: Kansas State University

During a ceremony Thursday afternoon in the lobby of one of the dining centers on campus, awards were given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7, or EPA Region 7, to applaud the work done by Kansas State University and the different departments that helped to keep food waste out of the landfill.

A few years ago, Kramer Dining Center was the pilot location for the food waste management project that successfully took 39.8 tons of compost out of the landfill in 2012.

To begin the recognition, the key component at Kramer Dining Center was given her chance to speak to explain how and why the project started.

“It really just started as a student project,” said Jennifer Kennedy, Service and Sanitation Manager at Kramer Dining Center.  “And fortunately we get to work year in and year out  to continue on with projects, but the students really drove this and decided to make it what is was.”

Kennedy credited not only the students under her, but for the help from facilities and the Agronomy department that decided to allow the compost from student food waste to be allowed at their site.

Ben Champion, Sustainability Director at K-State, was credited for bringing the key players together and mediating issues that arose.

“Because it involves departments  in three different sectors of the university that don’t usually talk with each other and collaborate in this way, it’s useful to have somebody that is kind of bringing those people together,” Champion said.

Though a number of people lined the walls of Kramer’s lobby, Pat Bosco, Vice President of Student Life, and Derek Jackson, Director of Housing and Dining, both expressed their gratitude towards the work done at the dining centers, facilities, and Agronomy department.

From the Facilities department, Bill Spiegel had a special recognition to give out himself as one of his employees, Martin Jones, is the one who takes the trip three times a week and helps to dispose of the compost from the dining centers and the student union into the Agronomy Farm.

John Woods, Director of Facilities, told how he substituted for Jones one day and is thankful he doesn’t have to do the job every week.

For Kansas State University, this is just one more recognition to their record as they are the only university in the state of Kansas to be a part of this program with the EPA Region 7.