College of the Rockies aims to reduce food waste

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College of the Rockies’ Facilities Director, Allan Knibbs (left) showcases the College’s new composter alongside instructor and Sustainability Committee Chair Greg McCallum and Kaylyn Gervais, Columbia Basin Trust Manager of Community Relationships.

New composter will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from decaying food, provide compost for campus gardens

College of the Rockies is converting food waste generated by its Cranbrook campus’ cafeteria, Professional Cook program, and Class Act Dining Room into compost thanks, in part, to $30,000 in grant funds from Columbia Basin Trust.

“We are excited to have a new composter in use at our Cranbrook campus and grateful to the Trust for their support of this initiative,” said Allan Knibbs, Director of Facilities at the College. “One of our key values at the College includes caring for the future of each other and of our communities. Helping to reduce our environmental footprint is one way we are able achieve this goal.”

The composting program is being introduced on a limited basis initially, due to the reduced number of people on the campus due to COVID-19 restrictions and the corresponding decrease in food waste being produced. Once the campus is back to full operations, the Sustainability Committee will launch an educational campaign with the goal of encouraging students and employees to compost all food waste generated on campus.

Funds received from Columbia Basin Trust covered about one-third of the cost of the purchase and installation of the composter, a project which was spearheaded by the College’s Sustainability Committee.

“This initiative is a great way the College can reduce their food waste and make an impact on their environmental footprint,” said Brianna Burley, Columbia Basin Trust Manager, Environment. “We are excited to support projects like this one that align with our commitment to strengthen environmental well-being in the region.”

“Our long-term goal is to reduce the amount of food waste destined for the landfill to zero,” said Greg McCallum, Sustainability Committee chair. “Not only will this help to reduce our environmental footprint but will also provide our facilities crew with some amazing compost for gardens and plants on our campuses.”

Learn more about the work of College of the Rockies’ Sustainability Committee.


About College of the Rockies

For more than 40 years, College of the Rockies has provided post-secondary education that meets the needs and aspirations of the people, industry and businesses of our region. Each year, we welcome more than 10,000 full-time and part-time students into a full range of programs, including: skilled trades, university studies, adult upgrading, early childhood education, health and human services, business, office administration, tourism, hospitality, recreation, fire services, continuing education and contract training. Through smaller class sizes, highly-personalized instruction and dedicated support services, our students are primed to succeed in the job market, or in the next stage of their academic journey.

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Heather Jackson
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College of the Rockies