Published on June 27, 2013

Hospital Food Waste Becomes Compost

Ames, IA – Mary Greeley Medical Center is now composting its food waste.

Composting Cart

Because of the composting
program,  the hospital’s
cafeteria plans to eliminate
two of its three
garbage disposals.

The hospital has contracted with Green R U, an Eddyville, Iowa-based company that turns organic waste into compost.

The move was prompted by concerns about the amount of food waste going down hospital garbage disposals. Now, any food remaining on plates placed on the hospital cafeteria’s conveyor belt, as well as food left on patient room trays goes into special Green R U containers. Scraps from cafeteria food prep also go into the containers, which Green R U picks up once a week.

The food waste is delivered to Chamness Technology, Inc., Green R U’s sister company in Blairsburg, Iowa.  The food waste is mixed with wood and other materials and processed over several months to create compost that is used for a variety of agricultural and horticultural applications.

The composting program is connected to Mary Greeley’s effort to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for its $130 million building project. It also comes a few weeks after lighting in the hospital’s parking ramp was replaced with more energy efficient LED lighting.

Because of the composting program, the hospital’s cafeteria plans to eliminate two of three garbage disposals.