We’re proud to say that we achieve zero-waste status! This means that we divert >90% of our waste stream from the landfill. This is particularly impressive considering that some months, like August, are our busiest months, as we serve 300+ new Maryville College students during orientation. About a third of those students choose to go on an overnight expedition, which requires extensive food supplies–and often means a lot of leftover food. In previous years, we’ve sent our staff home with as many bagels and granola bars as they can fit into their rooms and let the rest be thrown out. This year, however, we not only let our staff and other students take home provisions, but we also then took the remaining unopened and untouched food (including bread and buns, fruit, granola bars and drink mixes) to local food banks through a program called the Food Recovery Network.
Thanks to these efforts, we were able to eliminate much of what we would have normally thrown away, contributing to our zero-waste achievement, a status we hope to maintain. Our current zero waste effort is 92% over 14 months. Why are we striving for zero-waste? For us, it’s a matter of consistency with our core principles, namely quality. Unnecessary amounts of waste indicate a lack of attention to an aspect of our workplace. By devoting time and effort to addressing this issue, we have fulfilled our commitments to providing and maintaining a high quality work environment.