Dining Services Go Green

Gettysburg College's Dining Services are taking the initiative to "Go Green!" It all began just over a year ago, when Phil Roth approached Dining Services at Gettysburg College asking if he could collect their used oil. Roth, a local fruit grower in Fairfield, Pennsylvania (just a few miles west of Gettysburg) produces biofuel from used fryer oil that he collects from local restaurants. Dining Services agreed to let him take the used oil for his work.

That was just the beginning - when Roth recently became licensed to sell the fuel for commercial use, he informed Gettysburg College Dining Services of this development and offered the service to the College. They took him up on it - the Servo van is now operated with biofuel made from Roth's collective fryer oil. Through their partnership with Roth, Dining Services has eliminated the cost of having waste oil picked up by a commercial renderer in addition to operating more sustainably.

Commenting on Dining Services relationship with Roth, Gary Brautigam, Director of Dining Services, said, "It makes a great partnership with a local grower...We are hoping that our partnership may trickle to other areas of the college where applicable."

This, however, is just one of many steps that Servo is taking to go green. Brautigam adds that Dining Services is also "increasing the amount of foods that are processed locally and locally grown", in addition to "recycling cardboard, glass, plastic, and metal". Dining Services had also installed "pulper" in their dish room, which, as Brautigam explains, "literally pulps the post-consumer waste and reduced its volume by 80%." He is hopeful that soon they will have the capability to turn the pulp into compost.

Additionally, the individuals at Dining Services are working to raise student awareness of food waste and encouraging people to "take only what you can eat, eat only one entrée at a time". This has been a success thus far - Brautigam was proud of the progress that had been made, as "after two recent food waste audits we are below the national average in food waste per student." Hopefully, with Dining Services leading the way, Gettysburg College can continue to make progress in its sustainability efforts. As Brautigam explained, "It isn't just important for Servo, but for everybody to chip in and become more conscientious about our environment. As an institution it shows that we care about our future."

Written by Casey Kramer '14 for the Gettysburgian

Posted: Wed, 15 Dec 2010

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