Students at Illinois State University who frequently visit the Watterson Dining Commons may have noticed the newest addition to the dining center, which for most students would be some extra seating space that is often reserved for meetings.
The new addition also houses the Culinary Support Center (CSC), which is comprised of two floors worth of new things for the dining center to work with, such as a cook-chill production area, a cold prep room, a bakery and a test kitchen.
The purpose of all these additions is centralization, according to Adam Feaman, assistant director of the CSC.
“Having production in one space ensures consistency,” Feaman said.
One thing that could have seen some changes with the addition of the CSC was the composting done by ISU, but according to Director of the Office of Sustainability Elisabeth Reed, the transition will be smooth.
“[O]ur dining halls and catering services currently compost all food waste, ”Reed said.
“This has not changed with the new addition of the Culinary Support Center — they will be included in this process."
The composting process at ISU is something that likely flies under the radar of many students, but it’s something that every dining center and catering service on campus contributes to.
Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed in a process called composting. This process recycles various organic materials otherwise regarded as waste products.
All food scraps are put into a “pulper” to compress the food so it can fit into compost bins. The bins are collected by Better Earth, a compost facility in Peoria, and after processing the compost it is sold to local businesses and even used on the campus itself.
Reed hopes to one day allow students to take a more active role in composting by posting bins around campus.