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Brown Dining Services

After the Harvest

After the Harvest Earth Care Farm dirt

Brown University's association with Newport BioDiesel has been integral to the expansion of our green dining network. Once other facilities and restaurants became aware of our association with Brown University as a sustainable partner in production of clean burning biodiesel, they were more inclined to follow suit and join our network. The partnership we share with Brown University has been core to the expansion of our service to fuel a greener Rhode Island.

-- Chris Benzak, Managing Partner, Newport Biodiesel

The After the Harvest (AtH) initiative, as part of Community Harvest began during Hunger and Homelessness week in 2005. Since 05, AtH has helped coordinate efforts to both reduce food waste and re-route any appropriate overproduced food to either local hunger relief programs or composting venues.
  • Food Donations
  • Since 2005, Brown Dining has donated over 8,000 pounds of local food to local organizations including: The Rhode Island Community Food Bank, Providence Rescue Mission, Boys & Girls Club, Mary House, Pawtucket Soup Kitchen, Crossroads Family Center, City Year, and Camp Street Ministries.
  • Recycling & Reusables
  • The Sharpe Refectory recycles over 600 tons of waste per year. The entire university is committed to a recycling program where bottles, cans, and mixed paper are separated by designated receptacles found throughout campus.
  • Our dining hall ‘to-go’ program offers compostable containers, cups and napkins for students looking for a takeout option. These containers are predicted to decompose in about two years.
  • In an effort to reduce waste, Brown Dining sells reusable mugs and grocery bags in our retail units. Beverages purchased in a reusable mug are offered at a discounted price.
  • Used Fryer Oil
  • Brown Dining has partnered with Newport Biodiesel, a local company that takes our used fry-oil and turns it into usable fuel for diesel engines and home-heating.
  • Brown’s oil is mixed with oil from other local food establishments. The oil enters a refining process before it is ready to be used as recycled, renewable, and sustainable fuel.
  • Newport Biodiesel also picks up around 1,200 pounds of meat scraps per year from our dining halls, which is then transported to Earth Care Farm in Charlestown, RI to be composted.
  • Composting
  • Produce becomes nutritious food for local pigs and fertile organic compost.
  • How we compost pre- and post- consumer waste:
    • Pre-consumer waste refers to the organic matter generated in the production and preparation of meals; these are the melon rinds, potato peels, onion skins, and broccoli stalks.
    • Post-consumer waste refers to the food that is left on the tray or plate after consumers have finished their meal.
    • The pre- and post- consumer waste is then mixed together and a local pig farmer picks up the food mix which becomes hearty, nutritious food for local pigs.
    • Currently there is a strong effort in RI and on campus to increase our composting potential.
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