Turning Scraps Into Compost

The scraps are no longer scrapped.

Nutrition Services staff at Fairview Northland Medical Center in Princeton and Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minn. have added onto their daily routine.

They’re now diverting kitchen scraps, such as vegetable peels, meat trimmings, paper plates, paper towels and bones, from the garbage into compost bins, eliminating about 50,000 pounds of waste from their waste streams annually.

The organics are taken to Full Circle Organics in Becker and the Shakopee Compost Facility from Fairview Northland and Fairview Lakes, respectively, and should save about $1,300 annually in waste-related costs.

The two sites’ efforts will also save at least 12.7 metric tons of CO2 emissions a year—the equivalent to removing 33 cars from the road annually.

The shift from garbage to compost has also reduced the number of times Environmental Services picks up garbage from the kitchen from twice a day to once daily.

Currently, waste is composted from the kitchen and patient room service. Both hospitals plan to add organics composting to the customer-facing tray line in the cafeteria sometime this year once they fully transition to compostable dishware.

With the addition of the two hospitals, organics composting is now being conducted at all Fairview metro-area hospitals. Part of our sustainability efforts, organics composting is estimated to divert more than 210 tons from Fairview’s waste stream each year, and save the organization more than $12,000 in annual waste hauling costs.

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