HUB Green Team Finds More Food Than Actual Waste In Food Court Trash

Penn State’s Sustainability Institute recently sent its HUB Green Team to investigate how much food people at the HUB waste on a typical day in the food court. The team went during its busiest lunch hours and gathered 32 bags of trash to use as samples. After weighing the bags and sorting through their contents, the team found that nearly 162.8 pounds, more than 80 percent of waste collected, was actually recyclable or compostable material.

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The HUB Green Team sorting through bags of garbage from the HUB food court area. (Photo: Penn State News)

The audit of the trash further revealed the most misplaced items were usually food or food containers. Some 110 pounds of compostable material was moved from the trash bin to the compost bin in an effort to improve waste management.

Members of the HUB Green Team believe so much food went to waste because students often take more food than they need. The team believes people should figure out how much they’re really hungry for in order to save money and reduce waste.

“I think most people are unaware of how much food will satisfy them. Many times we think we need more than is actually necessary. Not only could this save consumers money, but also create less waste,” HUB Green Team member Heide Port said in a press release.

The HUB Green Team shared its findings with Food Services in an effort to collaborate on ways to reduce food waste and help Penn State meet its 85 percent waste reduction goal.

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Gabriela Stevenson

Gabriela is a junior majoring in print and digital journalism and one of Onward State's student life editors. She is from Norristown, PA, which she normally refers to as "30 minutes outside of Philadelphia." She enjoys Broadway musicals, neck pillows, and eating cereal at night. To contact Gabriela, e-mail her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @GabiStevenson if you want to feel young again.

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