Date of Award
The 2012 Universal Recycling Law in Vermont ban food scraps from landfills and offered a food recovery hierarchy for food waste that prioritizes first reducing waste at the source, and then donating extra food to food insecure individuals. Based on survey data that 15-20% of UVM students are food insecure, UVM Dining engaged a graduate student to 1) gather data on the magnitude of food waste produced at catered events in one location and 2) provide recommendations on how to best address catering food waste. Through an audit of 15 catering events on campus, the study reports that 17% of catered food was composted, 61% was consumed by the client, 9% was eaten by catering staff and 13% was re-utilized by the catering kitchen. Despite data collection being interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the data and observations of the graduate student allowed the development of short-term, medium-term, and long-term recommendations for UVM Dining to reduce catering food waste and food insecurity on campus.
Baxley, Susanna, "Catering Food Waste at UVM: Benchmark Data & Recommendations" (2021). Food Systems Master's Project Reports. 19.