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Food Recovery and Recycling

bc dining sustainability

BC Conserve


Boston College is a single-stream recycling institution meaning all recyclables—including glass, paper, plastic, aluminum, and cardboard—are collected in a single can, making recycling easier and more user-friendly than ever before! Adopting this system gives communities like BC the opportunity to work towards reducing waste and building a more sustainable future. Here is what BC Dining has been doing to ensure efficient use of products and material:

  • Crush metal cans in the kitchen to decrease the volume and the number of required vendor pickups
  • Installed double insulated, sealed grease tanks in all dining locations to prevent spillage during storage and extraction.
  • Filter oils a minimum of once per day to extend the life of cooking oils.
  • Regularly analyze oil market conditions to  purchase the best oil with the longest fry life and health benefits
  • Package and donate leftover food through the student run club called Every Bite Counts


Now Introducing Composting at McElroy: Before this year, only one dining hall, Corcoran Commons, had the infrastructure to compost post-consumer food waste, or the food left after consumption while all of our dining halls composted pre-consumer food waste, which includes any excess food waste generated prior to being served to students. Now, with help of student-run groups at BC, including UGBC Environmental Caucasus and EcoPledge, we have introduced composting at McElroy. We enlisted student help and redesigned our trash area to include easy to follow signs for post-consumer composting. We now go to the students and have them sort through their trash in order to increase our composting at one of the largest dining halls on campus!

BC Dining is proud to partner with Save That Stuff, who collects all composting materials and recyclables in order to repurpose our trash.  


Reducing Waste

All Dining locations utilize the LeanPath system to track the amount of food waste generated by each unit and monitor the products that are being over-served. LeanPath helps BC Dining staff zero in on opportunities to decrease pre-consumer waste and improve sustainability.

In one year, Corcoran Common reduced food waste in by 60% through the LeanPath food waste tracking system.  Check out the article in Farm to Institution and the LeanPath article


The meal consisted of leftover pre-consumer food scraps, like fried sweet potato peels and kale stem pesto with avocado.   

students donate their time

Every Bite Counts

BC Dining is excited to support Every Bite Counts (eBC), a student volunteer group, in its efforts to donate food to over 40 nonprofits in the Greater Boston area.  eBC was started in 2005 by Associate Director of Food and Beverage, Michael Kann, and freshman at the time, Molly Murphy.  Throughout the years, eBC has worked with a variety of organizations including the Greater Boston Food Bank and the Veterans' Shelter; however, their mission to combat hunger has remained the same.  eBC is currently partnered with Loving Spoonfuls, a food rescue organization.

The student group separates, packages, and weighs the food Sunday to Thursday nights and then coordinates pick up time with Loving Spoonful, who then delivers the food to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, food pantries and other community centers and programs in Boston.  What started out as a simple question:  "What happens to all the extra food in the university's dining halls at the end of the night?" has now turned into an operation of over 40 students working in two of the major dining units on campus with the hopes of incorporating a third.  The collaboration with BC Dining and Every Bite Counts has been a successful venture that has improved use of excess food, increased sustainability, and curbed surplus food production.  "Every Bite Counts would not be possible without the effectiveness and transparency of BC Dining,"  said student leader Lynn Patrella.  "Boston College Dining was immediately receptive and helped myself and the other student leaders start up food recovery and eBC again on campus."  BC Dining is excited to work with eBC to take the University's mission of "Men and Women for Others" and extend it BC Dining Services.