Campus Projects

Weigh the Waste

Weigh the Waste is a student-led initiative to research and reduce edible food waste on campus.

 What’s the Deal with Food Waste on Campus?

Here’s what we know—every year, Middlebury composts 300 tons of pre- and post-consumer food waste. That constitutes everything from inedible food scraps (banana peels, chicken bones, prep scraps) to paper products (napkins), liquids (juice, soup) and edible food scraps (uneaten pieces of pizza, etc).

The College combines all these types of food waste with woodchips and manure to make the compost that Facilities Services uses around campus. Don’t get us wrong; composting is great- it’s an alternative to landfilling that reduces harmful methane emissions and creates a product that we can reinvest in our food system. But a good composting program is no excuse to waste edible food. Reducing our edible food waste won’t kill our composting program, because we’ll always have enough inedible food scraps to make compost (we’re not asking anyone to eat their banana peels…). And, more importantly, reducing edible waste has a lot of benefits–

  • Environmental: Reducing waste means saving resources. The less overproduction we demand, the more energy, water, and land we conserve.
  • Economic: reducing waste means saving money. The less that Dining Services spends on food we just throw away, the more they’ll have to spend on food that we’ll eat and enjoy.
  • Community: Reducing waste means showing gratitude. Our food represents the time and talent of farmers, prep cooks, chefs, and countless others who work so hard to put food on our plates.
What’s Weigh the Waste?

Weigh the Waste is a student-led initiative to research and reduce edible food waste on campus. Here’s our goal—we want to figure out what portion of that 300 tons of food waste is student-caused, preventable waste.  Once we have more specific data about the edible food that comes off our plates destined for the compost, we want to think of some creative ways to conceive of it. 300 tons is a pretty unfathomable amount. Would we be more likely to reduce our waste if we understood its impact in terms of money? Space? Environmental impact? The labor of our dining staff? Once we understand the amount and impact of our wasted food, we will explore creative ways to reduce the amount of waste we produce.

What We Need From You:

Data Collection Assistance: We’re looking for student volunteers to help us collect and sort leftovers in Proctor and Ross dining halls.

Kickoff Collection Dates: September 18th (Wed) and 19th (Thurs)

· Shifts: Two shifts, running from 3:50-6:15pm and 6:15-8:10pm in both Proctor and Ross.
· Students Needed: 3 to 4 students for each shift in each dining hall

If you are interested in helping out, sign up with your first and last name on the Doodle below:

–        Proctor:
–        Ross:

Once you are signed up to volunteer, we will email you with more information and specific instructions for waste collection. Thanks so much!

Save the Arctic

Join us in Greenpeace’s Global Bike Ride to challenge big oil and celebrate the beauty of the Arctic! We will take pictures with the “Save the Arctic” message and then tweet about it (#IceRide) in the effort to raise the volume of the call for Arctic protection at this critical moment.

We will bike to Shoreham Town Green, which is about 1.5 hour away, to an AppleFest will take place where there will be everything apple-related that you can dream of! It is also a great time to connect with the local food movement through meeting really great people!

Pumped? Here are the details:

Where: We will meet at Adirondack Circle
When: Sept 15 Sunday, 10AM

See what the route is like:

We plan on getting back on campus by 1PM. People in polar bear costumes are welcome.

ARE YOU IN? Sign up here!

Got questions? Contact Adrian Leong (

See you this Sunday!

#IceRide Cyclists

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