Years ago, a student named Carolyn had an idea. With her small bucket, she picked up some spent coffee grinds from a campus coffee shop. She loaded it onto a wagon and brought it to the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming (GCUOF). She started a small compost pile.
This small act was the catalyst to campus-wide shift in thinking. Why do we throw away our food scraps? Why are food scraps treated as a waste product, not a valuable resource? Now, the University of Guelph brings over 150 tonnes of kitchen food scraps to the GCUOF each year. These food scraps are composted and transformed into rich compost. The compost is spread on the fields, and certified organic produce is grown by students, and purchased by our own chefs in Hospitality Services. Through partnerships with students and staff, we developed our very own Circular Food Economy. At the University of Guelph, our food is grown 924m west of the kitchen.
In 2019, Guelph-Wellington was awarded $10,000,000 to create Canada’s first Circular Food Economy. Our campus will serve as one of the living labs for this project.