The UT Dallas Facilities Management has won the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling’s (STAR) Rick Fuszek Award for Outstanding Sustainable Materials Management for an on-site composting program.
The university explained that STAR, a nonprofit organisation focused on increasing recycling rates in Texas, selected it for its demonstrated focus on materials management and resource conservation through its on-campus compost operation.
“These awards are given to the most innovative programs in the state,” commented Rick Dempsey, associate vice president for Facilities Management. “Composting at UT Dallas is our way of harnessing waste created on campus and turning it into a useful tool, and our team has worked very hard to make this a successful program.”
The facilities team collects landscape debris and, through a partnership with Dining Services, pre-consumer food waste and adds it to windrows on a four acre plot northeast of campus which is dedicated to the University composting program.
The mixture is then monitored by the team which tends to it to ensure it aerates and cures correctly until it is ready to be used for landscaping and the campus flowerbeds.
The full cycle was said to take between eight and 12 months and generate approximately 350 cubic yards (270 cubic metres) of compost depending on the amount of material available.
According to the university the process allows the it to compost 100% of campus landscape waste. In 2014, UT Dallas created 140 tons (127 tonnes) of recoverable compost, which was used on campus landscape throughout 2014 and 2015.
In addition, some of the landscape material was shredded directly into mulch. By keeping these materials out of the consumer waste stream, the University said that it has reduced its emissions, costs and time associated with waste management.
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