College of the Rockies’ Facilities Director, Allan Knibbs (left) showcases the College’s new composter alongside instructor and Sustainability Committee Chair Greg McCallum and Kaylyn Gervais, Columbia Basin Trust Manager of Community Relationships. (COTR file)

COTR aims to reduce food waste with composting program

The college will soon begin composting food waste on campus

  • Mar. 1, 2021 12:00 a.m.

College of the Rockies’ (COTR) Cranbrook campus will soon be able to compost their food waste thanks to a $30,000 grant from Columbia Basin Trust (CBT).

COTR will convert its food waste from the cafeteria, professional cook program and class act dining room, the college explained in a press release.

“We are excited to have a new composter in use at our Cranbrook campus and grateful to the Trust for their support of this initiative,” said Allan Knibbs, Director of Facilities at COTR. “One of our key values at the college includes caring for the future of each other and our communities. Helping to reduce our environmental footprint is one way we are able to achieve this goal.”

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a reduced number of staff and students on campus at this time.

COTR says the composting program will be introduced on a limited basis to start, and once things are back in full operation there will be an educational campaign around the program.

The campaign, launched by the Sustainability Committee, will focus on encouraging students and employees to compost all food waste generated on the campus. The composting project was spearheaded by the committee in the first place.

The $30,000 from CBT is approximately one third of the cost to purchase and install a composter, says COTR.

“This initiative is a great way the college can reduce their food waste and make an impact on their environmental footprint,” said Brianna Burley, Columbia Basin Trust Manager, Environment. “We are excited to support projects like this one that align with our commitment to strengthen environmental well-being in the region.”

Greg McCallum, Sustainability Committee chair says the long-term goal is to reduce the amount of food waste destined for the landfill to zero.

“Not only will this help to reduce our environmental footprint, but will also provide our facilities crew with some amazing compost for gardens and plants on our campuses,” said McCallum.

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