Case Studies

Monday, September 20, 2010 - 03:30

Dickinson College - Case Study

Customer Profile:

Dickinson College’s Department of Dining Services operates four dining establishments that provide food for 2,355 full-time students and 773 employees of the college. The environmen-tally friendly college has established several sustainability initiatives in order to reduce solid waste and water and energy consumption.

Perhaps the most visible sustainability initiative is the Dickinson College Farm, a collaborative Farm-to-Fork effort between the college’s Dining Services staff, faculty and students. The farm supplies the college dining halls with fresh produce raised without the use of chemicals.

“The Hobart pulper has doubled the amount of foodservice waste we compost. Using the pulper, we are able to compost or recycle nearly 75 percent of all waste and have eliminated a dumpster of trash a day. It has been a significant factor in our effort to reduce food waste as well as energy and water consumption.”
Keith Martin, director of dining services, Dickinson College


As part of its overall sustainability program, the college developed a composting program that not only reduces foodservice waste, but also provides fertilizer for the Dickinson College Farm. The college was collecting up to 300 pounds of waste each day to mix with mulch hay, wood chips and dairy manure at the farm to turn into compost.

The demand for compost grew as more land was cultivated into an organic vegetable farm. As a result, the college needed to expand its waste-collection efforts in order to increase the amount of compost and fertilizer produced.



  • Divert more foodservice waste for composting to fertilize more crops at the Dickinson Col-lege Farm.

Hobart Products Involved:

  • Hobart’s WastePro™ Pulper incorporates the latest technology in high-volume, solid-waste removal. Compacting solid waste into a semi-dry pulp, the WastePro reduces waste volume by up to 88 percent, addressing pressing environmental and ecological concerns while dramatically reducing waste costs.

“At Dickinson College, ‘sustainability’ isn’t just a trend. It’s a mind-set. We are constantly striving to set examples for environmental stewardship that have a positive impact on our student body, staff and neighboring communities.”
Keith Martin

Actions Taken:

  • As a result of installing the Hobart pulper, Dickinson College’s Dining Services expanded its composting program from the original small effort of composting salad-bar waste to include almost every department of Dining Services.
  • Today the college composts kitchen waste, recycled paper napkins, corn-based biodegradable cups and containers, and post-consumer tray waste.
  • Collect more waste for composting: Dickinson College Dining Services collects 600 pounds of foodservice waste each day for composting. Prior to using the pulper, the college could collect only up to 300 pounds of waste for composting each day.
  • Generate more revenue to support college programs: The compost helps the college farm grow more produce, eliminating the need to purchase produce from outside sources. This step has saved the college $6,500 per year, which has been reinvested into college programs.
  • Lower costs: Dickinson College spends less on fertilizer from outside resources and saves more than $1,300 annually on trash-bag costs. Furthermore, total transportation costs were drastically cut because all produce is grown within 50 miles of campus. Traditionally, produce traveled 1,500 miles or more.
  • Reduce water and energy use: Kitchen garbage disposals are no longer being used, which lowers the college’s water and energy consumption. The college estimates the pulper reduces the size of the compost material by 50 percent, translating into fewer trips to the farm and further reducing fuel usage and costs.

Hobart is the world’s premier commercial food equipment and service provider for the foodservice and food retail industries. Hobart manufactures products for refrigeration; warewashing and waste handling; food preparation; baking; cooking; and weighing, wrapping and labeling systems. To learn more about Hobart, visit


View PDF Version HERE