In response to statistics which say a third of food in the UK never gets eaten, yet 13 million people struggle to afford to eat, Wadham has stepped up its food waste procedures.
With student and local council support, food recycling schemes are being expanded on Wadham’s Parks Road site and at Merifield in Summertown.
Wadham Students’ Union Charities Officer Ben Carey and MCR Environmental Officer Fitzroy Morrissey are extending College food recycling to student kitchens. From the start of Hilary term, each student kitchen will have its own food recycling bin which will be emptied according to a rota system by the students. Food waste from the Wadham kitchens goes for weekly recycling by the city council.
Merifield Manager Lindsay Kennedy has issued 37 council provided food waste recycling bins, organic bin bags and support information packs to the Merifield apartments. The council is then carrying out a weekly food waste collection from the two 720 litre food waste recycling collection bins. “We were the first apartment block to have the full kit delivered in the city and the food waste is recycled to produce bio fuels,” commented Lindsay.
The College has also successfully reduced the amount of its food waste by implementing a meal booking system for all College members and monitoring and controlling portion sizes and food preferences.
Said Domestic Bursar, Frances Lloyd: “The Meal Booking System helps us cater for meals much more accurately. Students, staff and Fellows can sign in or out for meals as late as 10am each day. Students are also allowed to share their Bod cards with other Wadham students if they cannot attend dinner and have not managed to sign out.”
Other measures in place for reducing waste include
• Raw vegetable and salad leftovers are given to the gardeners for compost.
• Evening service staff members are allowed to eat leftover food after service (outside working hours).
• All cooking oils and fats are recycled to make bio diesel.
• Meat is delivered in as little packaging as possible.
• Seasonal foods are used where possible.
The College is also exploring ways of working more closely with The Gatehouse, a drop in centre for Oxford’s homeless, where Wadham students volunteer to prepare sandwiches and contribute surplus food.