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Weighing in on campus food waste

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weigh the waste

Students help “Weigh the Waste” Nov. 30 after their meals at Student Center East.

The scale tells the tale: UIC students waste a lot of food.

On Nov. 30, students eating at East Café in Student Center East scraped their leftovers into special containers.

The 3,158 meals served — breakfast, lunch and dinner — produced 739.17 pounds of waste, said Eddie Skidmore, marketing manager for Sodexo, which runs campus dining services.

That’s more than a quarter-pound per meal per person.

Even figuring that the waste included napkins and bones, that’s enough to feed 200 people a day, Skidmore said Monday.

He designed a poster showing the results, which will be put up in the café this week.

The “Weigh the Waste” project was a joint effort by the dining service and the Office of Sustainability.

“That’s pretty shocking — 200 people,” said Cynthia Klein-Banai, associate chancellor for sustainability.

The object of the project was to encourage students to pile less food on their plates and provide data for a future composting effort.

The sustainability office is planning a grant proposal to fund composting of meal waste from the student centers and the James Stukel Towers student residence.


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