Bates Dining Services wins national environmental award

The national environmental nonprofit Renew America announced today that Bates College Dining Services has been selected for a second consecutive National Award for Environmental Sustainability in the category of waste prevention/recycling. The prestigious  awards are being given by Renew America to 16 programs throughout the nation.

The National Awards for Environmental Sustainability honor verified examples of companies, communities and individuals that are leading the change to sustainability through their programs. Award winners were selected from a pool of nearly 200 programs that have been recognized by Renew America and the National Awards Council for Environmental Sustainability, a coalition of 60 leading businesses and environmental and community groups.

“These award winners represent some of the best of the best of this country’s environmental programs. They are shining examples of how citizens across the United States can support our nation’s environmental and economic goals every day,” said Anna Slafer, executive director of Renew America.

On Monday, April 17, Bates College Dining Services will be honored at the Renew America Awards Ceremony that will help kick off Earth Week in Washington, D.C. Dana Reeve, actress and wife of actor Christopher Reeve, will be the mistress of ceremonies for the Awards Ceremony from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Willard Inter-Continental Hotel Washington ballroom at 1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.

“We take great pride in our environmental achievements through the efforts of all those working in dining services,” said Robert Volpi, director of dining services at Bates. “This accomplishment has proven that environmental sustainability is achievable within a college campus. Being recognized for having one of the nation’s best, food and dining environmental programs confirms our commitment to making our living place better. Bates Dining is very proud of our accomplishment and honored to receive the National Award for Environmental Sustainability.”

In 1998-99, Bates Dining Services composted more than 4,500 lbs. of scraps each week for a total of 234,000 lbs. of pre-consumer organic waste, including chlorine-free napkins, fruit and vegetable matter, coffee grinds and egg shells. Approximately 50,000 lbs. of pre-consumer waste has been sent to a local farmer who composted the matter and returned the finished product for use on college grounds. Unused portions of food at Bates are donated to two area homeless shelters, and dining services reduces water consumption by not using sink-based garbage-disposal units. Dining Services recycled more than 106,000 lbs. of cardboard, mixed paper, tin cans, No. 2 plastic and glass in 1998-99.

Bates dining services also has been recognized in “Greening the Ivory Tower,” (MIT Press, 1998) a book by Sarah Hammond Creighton on best environmental practices among colleges, universities and other institutions.

The winners were selected by representatives of the National Awards Council for Environmental Sustainability (NACES). NACES, coordinated by Renew America, comprises 60 national environmental, nonprofit, government and business organizations, including the National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, The Human Society of the United States, AT&T, U.S. EPA, the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian Institution.

Bates dining services will be listed and described along with this year’s finalists in the “Environmental Success Index,” a comprehensive database record of more than 1,400 successful environmental programs throughout the United States. To see the index on-line, visit

Renew America identifies, verifies and promotes model programs that protect, restore and enhance the environment. By offering positive, constructive models, Renew America inspires communities, government agencies and businesses to meet today’s environmental challenges. For more information about Renew America, please call (202) 721-1545.

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