April 21, 2016
By Milan Khatami
DALLAS (SMU) – SMU Dining Services has begun a green partnership with SMU’s Community Garden to provide plant-enriching compost created from the food waste at on-campus dining facilities.
Starting this year Dining Services began delivering upon request the composted material to the garden, located at the intersection of Daniel and Dublin, The composting is done on-site at the dining facilities and delivered when Community Garden workers specify the frequency and amount needed.
Comprehensive surveys were distributed to students during the fall semester and many of the comments showed that they wanted to see the food waste from the dining halls, ranging from egg shells to fruit rinds, put to good use As a result, Dining Services began brainstorming ideas to give back to the community while simultaneously improving their sustainability footprint – resulting in the collaboration with SMU’s Community Garden.
“We hope that this partnership is another stepping stone toward making a difference in our community as we continually develop and implement sustainable solutions here to make our campus more environmentally conscious,” said Jennifer Wilkins, Marketing Manager of Dining Services.
The Community Garden is a project of the Center for Evangelism and Missional Church Studies in the Perkins School of Theology. The garden provides SMU students from all majors with an opportunity to learn to garden organically using sustainable irrigation methods in order to build community and provide locally grown food. All crops and produce grown in the garden are shared by students, staff, faculty, and a local food bank.
“The garden benefits from composted vegetable waste which enriches the soil, and Dining Services gets to participate in campus sustainability efforts and in one of our contextualized education sites,” said Dr. Elaine Heath, leader of the Community Garden.