Culinary Arts Institute Goes ‘Landfill Free’

by Alana J. Mauger, Think Green Editor

Montgomery County Community College’s brand new Culinary Arts Institute (CAI) became the institution’s first “Landfill-Free Enterprise” when it opened in August 2013. The CAI partners with Sustainable Waste Solutions (SWS), of Souderton,  to convert all waste — trash, recycling and food trimmings — into energy or materials.

“Sustainability is so important in the food industry, especially since we produce so much waste,” explained Chef Instructor and CAI Business Manager John De Pinto.

For waste that can be recycled, SWS employs single-stream advanced techniques to increase the rate of materials that are actually recycled, eliminating  byproduct waste that may end up in the landfill.

For materials that cannot be recycled, SWS employs Energy-from-Waste or Waste-to-Energy processes, which create energy, typically in the form of electricity, from the combustion of solid waste.

SWS also transforms 100% of the CAI’s food scraps — including meats and high fat foods that typically cannot be composted — into agricultural compost through a scientific process that complies with government regulations regarding disease control and ground water pollution. In addition all of the CAI’s cooking grease collected and transformed into biofuel.

Check out a short video tour of College’s brand new Culinary Arts Institute below!

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