In June, Children’s Minnesota began participating in a food composting program called Food to Hog. Through contracting with a farmer, food waste on Children’s campuses’ is hauled away then processed into animal feed so that food waste can find a good and welcome home elsewhere.
This type of composting is a viable waste-reduction strategy and the long-term benefits of the program will reduce incineration or landfill disposal costs for food scraps.
“It was important for us to seek opportunities to reduce what we were contributing to landfills in creative and locally-driven ways,” said Stacey Johnson, Support Operations Coordinator at Children’s.
Food-to-animals organics recycling programs accept:
- Food prep waste
- Plate waste and food scraps from patient trays
- Unpackaged spoiled or outdated food
- Unpackaged frozen food
With this program, local farms collect food scraps on-site. Before being fed to livestock, food scraps are cooked and processed to eliminate any harmful bacteria. For collection ease, participating farms provide businesses with lined plastic carts on wheels that they wash out and re-line after pick-up.
For more details on the program, please see the video from Hennepin County below.
Though this program is still very new to Children’s, it has already diverted 27 tons of waste from landfills. That is the equivalent of eight large compactor dumpsters!