Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 84.41
Liaison Patrick McKee
Submission Date March 26, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
IN-25: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Richard Miller
Director
Ofice of Environmental Policy
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Quantum Biopower Partnership

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

Quantum Biopower Partnership
In December 2017, UConn's Dining Services began a pilot program with Quantum Biopower and Willimantic Waste Company (UConn's waste and recycling hauler). After several years of using and experimenting with ways to minimize and divert food waste, including longtime use of in-kitchen eCorect dehydrators and a short-lived trial using the Enviropure technology to treat and discharge food waste as grey water, UConn learned about the new Quantum BioPower facility that was ready to begin operation within an hour away from our main campus. The pilot program involved developing a process for collecting and hauling pre- and post-consumer food waste from the newly-renovated Putnam Dining Hall. Dining Hall employees had to be trained and QA/QC measures taken to ensure minimal cross-contamination of the organic waste stream needed at Quantum BioPower. Putnam is one of eight dining halls on campus and is located in the Hilltop residential area. Quantum Biopower is a food waste/anaerobic digester, energy generating plant, and composting facility located in Southington, Connecticut, 45 minutes southwest of UConn's main campus. The state-of-the-art facility utilizes a high-volume anaerobic digester to convert the organic food material into renewable biogas that powers an energy generating gas turbine. The digester also.accelerates the composting process to create a residual byproduct that harnesses nutrients for use as high quality fertilizers, soils, and compost.
Quantum Biopower’s waste diversion process can accept food material in the form of: food spoilage, packaged goods, expired beverages, dairy and meat products, produce products, fats, oils, and greases. Furthermore, the anaerobic digestion process is a natural, closed-loop process. It occurs without the use of harmful environmental chemicals, and captures methane emissions associated with the composting process, allowing for the steady and constant production of biogas energy. (http://www.quantumbiopower.com)
In the months of December 2017 and January 2018 alone, the collaboration led to the diversion of 14.2 tons of food waste. Recently, the program has expanded to include two additional dining halls on campus, with a plan to introduce the program to all eight dining halls at the UConn Storrs campus by the end of 2018. This is anticipated to increase UConn's overall waste diversion rate to at least 60%, one of the many goals specified in the 2020 Vision Plan for Campus Sustainability and Climate Leadership.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Food & Dining
Waste

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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