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Bryn Mawr Switches Back to Styrofoam Containers; Haverford Hopeful for New Composter, Keeps Biodegradable Boxes

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Bryn Mawr Switches Back to Styrofoam Containers

Haverford Hopeful for New Composter, Keeps Biodegradable Boxes



By Julie Mazziotta



Students picking up their meals in the Bryn Mawr cafeterias may notice a change in the take out boxes they're using this year after Dining Services, with the help of the Greens Committee, decided to change from biodegradable containers to styrofoam last spring.

The switch in materials came after they decided that the additional cost for take out boxes made from recycled materials wasn't necessary, considering the majority of trash leaving Bryn Mawr is incinerated, according to David Chase, the associate director of Dining Services.

“It was determined that foam burns cleaner than the biodegradable material,” Chase said in an email. “The truth of the matter was the container and everything else 'biodegradable' is being disposed of in the same trash stream as everything else.”

The difference in cost was also attractive to Dining Services in a time of cutbacks. The biodegradable containers cost 23 cents each while the styrofoam boxes are just 9 cents according to Chase. Dining Services initially switched to the biodegradable containers in 2008 when they had available funds in the budget.

Haverford Dining Services is in its fourth year of using the biodegradable containers, and are in the process of reducing their trash in to compost.

John Francone, director of Haverford's Dining Center and a founding member of the College's Committee for Environmental Responsibility, says they're interested in purchasing Windrow composting equipment.

“We're working on getting this equipment that converts all of the paper bowls, and paper cups, and paper containers in to compostable material,” Francone said. “We also recycle all of our glass and plastic products.”

Bryn Mawr was also interested in composting their trash with Haverford, but the volume of trash between the colleges was too large, according to Francone.

“I would also like to have this [trash] all composted and possibly give it to the community, not just between the Bi-Co but to the community at large,” Francone added.

Chase and Francone both believe that Dining Services between the schools regarding composting will not change, regardless of the college's decision to merge the dining services between the schools.

Francone said that the merger isn't a big change for him. “When I started here 21 years ago, it was Bi-Co, so were bringing things back together.”
















Works Cited


Chase, David. “Re: Paper for class, styrofoam take out containers.” Email to Julie Mazziotta.

18 Sept 2009.

Francone, John. Interview with Julie Mazziotta. Haverford Dining Center. 18 Sept 2009.