Kitchen Cabinet Meeting Minutes November 2015 Posted on January 6th, 2016 by

Kitchen Cabinet
November 16, 2015

Margo Druschel, Erin Kuiper, Brady Kelley, Jessica Braun, Warren Wunderlich, Gwen Saliares, Kailey Holmes, Laura Wilberts, Caitlyn Riese, Cameron Reischauer, Herchran Singh, George Elliott , Paul Matzke, Chuck Niederriter, Patrick Neri, Jana Elliott(SAVE), Kaitlyn Bicek(SAVE), Mark Hanson , Steve Kjellgren, Lisa Heldke, Lindsay Rothschiller ,
JJ Akin, Audi Dickey

Question and Answers with Larry Biederman, owner of LJP Waste and Recyling
Larry gave a great summary of how waste management is utilized, processed and how LJP operates. Discussed the landfill end of the operation and how engineering, decision making and processing of the trash take place. LJP initially started out in just the landfill business but did expand in the hauling of waste and they do collect trash from about 9 cities.
Reviewed the difference between Industrial recycling (recycling about 50 different commodities, 3800 tons) and Residential recycling (items comingled and not as much).
In Industrial recycling the trucks go all over the United States and they take all kinds of commodities and even the more difficult items that other Industrial Recycling places do not take. Larry has seen an uptick in the demand for Industrial recycling as larger companies are being required to recycle. The commercial recycling has a greater financial return than the residential recycling as the commercial is a cleaner product and not as contaminated. And what was mentioned before; the demand for more recycling and recycling more difficult items.
The shift in comingling items have been started by larger companies so they have more drive bys: with single sort recyclables you may only have 185 drive bys whereas comingled you have 400 drive bys. Not all places want to recycle comingled products as the plant itself has to sort the items and most often they are more contaminated. You can’t sell the end product for as much as you can sell the cleaner more industrial products that are single sort. So in comingled recycling the glass may go to road construction, the plastic may go another place. The biggest problems with the comingled items are that the grocery store sacks clog up the machines (most did not know that you could even throw plastic grocery store sacks in to the recycling bin). The question was asked as to what is on the horizon that may be new or change. Larry noted the following: eventually not recycling glass, shopping bags may be all paper and the movement to go towards organic products.
Gasification was defined: producing fuel and electricity. Making energy is carbon positive and Larry noted that you have people on both sides saying recycling is a waste of energy or recycling does produce energy.
Larry and Warren discussed what does happen on campus and at Gustavus we do try and provide a cleaner product. If we accidently comingle here it does go to trash. And if it has a lot of trash in it then it goes to trash. Warren gave the example if a lot of trash is in the recycling container staff cannot go through it and risk injury to them (i.e., if broken glass is in container).

The question was asked: what would make students better participants. Compost bins were discussed; right now they are only in the Campus Center. If there were bins across campus would we be able to increase our composting. Answer: More than likely we would have items comingled and it would end up being trash. And we are willing to give it a try and there are some Coke grant applications that are asking for money to explore this further. And note that there is a cost to pick up and a cost to clean the curbies; they can’t go back in to residence halls if they are covered in food.

Is it a sign problem that people don’t know what goes in those bins? And the answer to that is – yes. Warren does think it is signing. We all seem to fall in to three different categories when it comes to recycling: those of us that are committed to recycling, those of us that will do it if we can understand the procedure and those of us that just don’t care.

In regards to Best Practices in the Industry it seems to be a lot of the same thing, incentive tied back to the employees. So if you have a lot of employees that want to recycle and there is an incentive involved such as a pizza party to the group that recycles the most you will have great response. You can have the same company with multiple locations and each location can treat recycling differently.
GAC – if you look at what is dumped compared to other places (like MSU) GAC does not do too bad – rule of thumb can recycle 3% of contaminated – pizza boxes for examples

What small things could students do that would/could grow as a community: Arbor View and College View do a poor job with recycling. Could we be doing something different with first year students that we train them correctly so they will know what to do all four years? Relax comingling to include paper and that seems like we would be going backwards but it may be worth the extra cost to increase participation. We are doing a better job than most other schools in our area but not as good as East or West coast schools and we send very little to the landfill. The Greens are considering recycle mania for this year. Signage needs to be uniform and the signs are confusing. There would need to be some investment in the signs and something to drive that uniformity. Warren also noted that we are trying to solve some of the problems locally and the custodians in a building are always looking for the best way to do something.

Is waste to energy environmentally? Larry noted again you will have people on both sides of the argument but overall he thinks it is better to have waste converted to energy.

Fair Trade
Margo noted that the Fair Trade resolution had changes made and was accepted by Student Senate. It has been 18 months in the making and a number of places across campus to educate about Fair Trade. Student Senate would like the Kitchen Cabinet to support Fair Trade and if we do then it would go to Faculty Senate and then to the Board of Trustees. The Kitchen Cabinet voted unanimously to accept the resolution. The question was posed why would we not support it and it was noted that cost might be an issue but Steve felt it was worded such that Dining Service can make that call about price. And with more items becoming available the hope is eventually fair trade items would come down in price or be equally priced. Dining Service is on board the next step is purchasing and procurement across campus.

Tabling on Wednesday
Please join the tasting on Wednesday in the Dining Room – it will be interactive and there will be tasty items to try. There will also be a water taste test. Also thanks to the Dad who sent the initial email regarding Halal. Halal options will be offered Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It was also noted that one of our student employees was very helpful in the kitchen with tasting and product development.

Final Thoughts
The question was posed if the Dining Service hours can be in line with Ramadan. It was noted that we can work to accommodate.

The Book Mark is supporting the effort of students helping us to be more aware of the plight of being homeless. The Book Mark is selling male and female kits as well as the sweatshirts (hooded version and a crew neck version). The proceeds benefit the Partnership for Affordable Housing.


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