At the second annual Tiger Chef Challenge, sustainability was on display in more than just the delicious plant-based dishes created by student teams competing in the Latin-American-inspired cook-off. Campus Dining also aimed to minimize the event’s waste by encouraging food vendors to use compostable serving materials, and by piloting a "Resource Recovery Station" for waste disposal.
The idea for the Resource Recovery Station was inspired by Allie Klimkiewicz ’19 who took the seminar, ENV 327: Investigating an Ethos of Sustainability at Princeton last semester. Allie proposed these stations be implemented at large events on campus with the goal of making events as zero waste as possible by educating attendees about what goes in each bin.
At Tiger Chef, student EcoReps, including Maj Halaweh ’19, staffed the station to ensure proper disposal of materials. Attendees were instructed to discard any liquids first, and then place remaining items in either the landfill, recycling, or compost bins.
“The Resource Recovery Stations encourage people to think about what materials can actually be recycled and composted versus what has to be put into the landfill,” said Maj. “These stations are the beginning of a shift in focus towards making waste, or unwanted material, more apparent to people on a more regular basis.”
The intentional use of the term “Resource” in the station’s branding rather than “Waste” is an additional attempt to raise awareness about lifecycles and the impact of everyday products.
“Seeing the Resource Recovery Stations come to life, from my final project in ENV 327 was an incredibly meaningful experience for me,” remarked Allie. “Through the project, I have come to understand that Princeton classes and the Princeton community can be a large aid to students in both catalyzing ideas and subsequently bringing them into reality. I look forward to continue seeing how the original idea of the stations takes shape!”
Campus Dining, Building Services, and the Office of Sustainability intend to expand the effort by ordering Princeton Resource Recovery branded tents, and conducting additional pilots of these stations at other campus events such as the Princeton University Farmers’ Market, Truckfest, Lawnparties and Reunions.