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University of Southern California rolls out waste collection for biofuels

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The University of Southern California (USC) in the US has introduced compost collection bins at university-owned student housing, with collected waste to be used in the production of biofuels.

Troy Hall and New North Residential College are the latest buildings to join the list, which already includes Marks Tower, Parkside Apartments, Nemirovsky and Bohnett residential colleges, as well as several other student housing facilities.

To date, USC Housing has installed 40 food waste bins, with plans to add a further 20. The collected materials are taken away to be sorted, before being turned into biofuels for transportation of energy production.

“There are so many students who want to participate now, so we’re opening it up to more,” said Nichelle Mitchell-Huizar, a program administrator with USC Housing. “Cities are pushing composting more, so we are moving with the same plan.”

Eggshells, food scraps, bread, coffee grounds, tea bags, fruits and vegetables are on the list of compostable items.

“Students are starting to pick universities based on whether they’re sustainability leaders,” added undergraduate student government sustainability director Isabella Caltabiano. “The inauguration of President Folt has created an environment where students are being listened to. We’re growing into this.”