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Hamline University is a private liberal arts college located in Saint Paul.

Challenge

Hamline University was well ahead of the curve with organics recycling, having started one of the first food waste recycling programs in the Twin Cities in 1991.

When Hamline University planned to relocate its main kitchen and food service operations to a new building, the Anderson Center, they wanted to expand and improve their organics recycling. They reached out to BizRecycling’s Recycling Experts for help.

How We Helped

Our Recycling Expert visited Hamline University to evaluate the University’s waste stream and existing recycling program.They found several opportunities to improve their recycling, organics, and overall waste management process.

Hamline University and our Recycling Expert worked with the food service operations in the Anderson Center to design a better organics recycling program.They wanted to make sure it would work well, not only for the kitchen prep crew, but also for the customer serving lines and in the dish room.

Our Recycling Expert also recommended improvements to the single-sort recycling system. Using consistent color-coded recycling and trash collection bins helps ensure that the maximum amount of material is recycled with the minimum amount of contamination.

In addition, it was found that Hamline University was losing money on their campus-wide waste management system. Our Recycling Expert was able to offer recommendations for streamlining processes.

Outcome

Thanks to the guidance of our Recycling Expert, Hamline University made it easier to capture more food waste for recycling. By reconfiguring the waste transfer system, they cut labor costs by nearly 15% and reduced waste and recycling hauler expenses by more than half.

There were some initial capital outlays for trash and recycling compactors and other equipment, but the return on investment for equipment purchases was about 2 years. Hamline University is now saving about $6,000 a year on their waste management.