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New system at LSU hopes to combat food waste

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BATON ROUGE - Just in time for Earth Day, LSU is introducing a new effort to fight food waste.

At first glance, they may look like ordinary dumpsters; but the bins are actually part of a new program at LSU looking to combat waste.

"We've always wanted to find a way to either compost food, or divert food from the landfill because its such a waste stream for LSU," Sarah Temple, Manager of Campus Sustainability, told WBRZ.

What's even more special about this latest food initiative is that foods like fruits, vegetables, and bread are getting re-used to benefit area farmers.

"Not only is the food waste being diverted from the landfill, it's being used for local farmers who need it for animal feed."

LSU Sustainability has partnered with student government, LSU Dining, and others. While it's inevitable that some food will go bad, the program is limiting just how much will end up in the trash all across campus.

"We have it at the 459, the Five, and the union. You know all three of us together have a fair amount of waste, which now we're able to track it and send it out and use it for good," Jon Jackson, Senior Executive Chef at LSU, said.

LSU Sustainability estimates they bring roughly 150 tons of waste each year to the East Baton Rouge North Landfill. They are hoping this project will divert around 30 tons a year, with a much larger end goal in mind.

"LSU has set a goal of diverting 75 percent of all waste from the landfill by 2025," Temple told Channel 2.

Two decades after putting on that chef's coat, Jackson is proud to be a part of something that may literally turn trash into treasure.

"If we could stop food waste and use what we have in the kitchen, get it out there and make something else out of it instead of just going into a garbage can, then I'm very happy to do that."

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