Tag Archives: Turner Place

Virginia Tech Sustainability Highlights

The school year is coming to a close and yet another full year of sustainability efforts have moved forward.  Below are some highlights of Sustainable Dining and Sustainability efforts across campus during this past school year.  Thanks to the students, faculty and staff that have made this recognition possible and here’s to next year!

Virginia Tech Dining Services Dishes up VT Milk

In January 2013, Virginia Tech Dining Services started to serve “VT Milk” VTMilk_Logoat D2 in Dietrick Dining Hall.  VT Milk is produced on campus at the Dairy Science Department’s Dairy Barn, processed in Goochland Virginia and then brought back to Virginia Tech to be served.

Take a look at this video that talks about the VT Milk program.

For more  information, click here.

Virginia Tech Dining Servic
es continues its commitment to Sustainability

PME 7The end of the 2012 calendar year marked the Virginia Tech’s first year of diverting more than 1 million pounds of food waste from the Landfill.  As of August 2012, when Turner Place at Lavery Hall opened, all Dining Units are participating in the composting program.  The composting program began in 2009 and has since grown to include all Dining Units.

Working with Poplar Manor Enterprises, based in Riner VA, much of our food waste is diverted from the landfill a

For more information,
click here.nd converted into compost, a natural fertilizer which is used at the Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm to promote soil health and provide necessary nutrients to crops.

Turner Place at Lavery Hall is LEED Silver Certified

Turner Place at Lavery Hall which houses Virginia Tech Dining Services’ newest Dining Hall as well as several classrooms and common space has received a LEED Silver Certification.  LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is determined through the US Green Building Council and Turner Place at Lavery Hall is now the 6th building on campus to receive a LEED Certification.

For more information, click here.

Virginia Tech receives an AASHE STARS Silver Ranking

Virginia Tech submitted their 2nd application to AASHE STARS (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System) this year and received a Silver ranking.  This is Virginia Tech’s second ranking from AASHE STARS and with a total score of 63.3, Virginia Tech was just a couple points away from reaching a Gold ranking.

The VT Milk program was recognized by AASHE STARS as an “innovation credit” and added to Virginia Tech’s overall ranking.

For more information on the ranking, click here and for details on Virginia Tech’s score, click here.

The Princeton Review’s 2013 “Guide to Green Colleges”

Virginia Tech was chosen to be featured in The Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges” for the fourth consecutive year.  This publication was first created in 2010, and Virginia Tech has been a part of it since then.  Princeton Review ranks universities on a scale from 1-100.  All schools that reach an 83 or higher are included in their “Guide to Green Colleges” publication.  Virginia Tech received a 98 in 2013.

The Princeton Review, has determined that nearly two thirds of the incoming freshmen felt that sustainability played a key role in their decision to attend a specific college or university.

Click here to view the full Guide to Green Colleges for 2013 and click here to see the listing of schools by state.

For more information,  click here.

Virginia Tech Receives Governor’s Environmental Excellence Program

The Office of Energy and Sustainability at Virginia Tech received a Gold Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award.  This is Virginia Tech’s 4th award recognition in the past 6 years and it is a testament to Virginia Tech’s comittment being a “leader in campus sustainability,” as stated in the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment and Sustainability Plan.

“Virginia Tech’s campus sustainability program seeks to improve the efficiency of campus facilities and operations; enhance academic programs related to sustainability; engage the campus and surrounding community; and change campus culture and behavior to conserve energy, water, and materials.” (Norman, 2013)

For more information, click here.

Virginia Tech receives a 2013 “Race to Excellence” Gold Award

For the fourth consecutive year, Virginia Tech received recognition for its Alternative Transportation programs.

For more information, click here.

Virginia Tech recognized by Tree Campus USA

For the fifth consecutive year, Virginia Tech has been named a Tree Campus USA.

“Virginia Tech achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures toward trees, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects.” (Norman, 2013)

For more information, click here.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.     – Margaret Mead


Waste Stations at Turner Place

In August, Dining Services opened Turner Place at Lavery Hall.  With bagel sandwiches, crepes and gelato, soups and salads, burritos, rotisserie chicken, personal pan pizzas and freshly blended smoothies, you can’t go wrong!

With a new dining hall comes also a new method of waste sorting.  In Turner Place, we have 10 Waste Stations with receptacles for compostables, recyclables and landfill-ables.  Each bin has a sign with pictures of what should go in each bin.  These Waste Stations are designed to help you think through where each bit of waste should go.

In Dining Halls on campus like West End Market, Owens Dining Hall, and D2, the waste sorting is done behind the scenes by Dining Services’ wonderful staff members.  At Turner Place, it’s all up to you!

In 2012, all of Dining Services diverted over 500 tons of waste towards compost.  This means that through this composting program, we’ve kept over 100,000 lbs of food waste out of the landfill!

What goes where:

Don’t feel overwhelmed!  When the compost or recycle bins are contaminated, the entire batch of compostables or recyclables will be thrown away in the landfill.    Ask a Dining Services Staff member if you have questions. Remember, all  food leftovers, and paper products can be composted.  Plastics 1 – 7  can be recycled, and everything else goes into the landfill.  If you’re not sure about which bin, put it in the landfill bin.



When in doubt, throw it out (in the landfill).

At University of Michigan, students are taking waste sorting seriously!

Questions?  Please contact the Dining Services Sustainability Coordinator, Rial Tombes at sustainabledining@vt.edu.

DS Green Team Member Spotlight: Josh Pike

The Dining Services Green Team is a new initiative on campus that is promoting current sustainable dining projects.  Turner Place has unique waste stations that allow for composting, recycling and landfill-ing.  During peak lunch hours (11 -2), Dining Services Green Team Members guide their peers through the process of properly sorting their waste.

You, too, can be a part of the Dining Services Green Team! 

Dining Services Green Team Member Spotlight: Josh Pike

Major:  Marketing Management and HR Management

Year:  Senior

Hometown:  Madison, Virginia

Favorite Food:  Pork BBQ

Favorite Place to eat on campus: West End Market

How did you hear about the Dining Services Green Team:  I heard about the Green Team from the Facebook page for The Dining Services at Kentland Farm Volunteer Program.

Favorite part of the Dining Services Green team?:   My favorite part about the Green Team is seeing the transition from people just throwing away trash in whichever trash can they see first, to now seeing people actually take a few seconds to stop and separate their trash into compost, recyclables, and landfill materials.  This is a rewarding experience because it makes you feel that people actually care about improving the environment.

Composting + You

According to the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment & Sustainability Plan, VT Dining Services is dedicated to becoming zero waste by the years 2026- 2050.  Now, that seems like a long ways away, but it really isn’t.


Compost Carts at Southgate


Virginia Tech Dining Services started composting in January 2009 at our Southgate Food Preparation facility.  Since then, all of our Dining Centers have come on board with composting including Turner Place!  In Turner Place we have added an additional layer to our composting project:  YOU!

You all have the chance to help sort your waste into three different compartments: organic waste/ compostables, commingled recycling, and trash.  Now what does that mean?

Organic Waste/ Compostables: This includes all fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, leftover foods including meat and dairy scraps, napkins, wax paper liners, and cardboard cups.    Here’s an Organic Waste/ Compostable Receptacle located outside of Turner Place.

Commingled Recylables:  Virginia Tech collects all plastic containers numbered 1 -7 (no styrofoam) as well as aluminum cans, steel cans and glass (any color).

Trash: Everything else.  Trash includes styrofoam, all non recyclable plastics like plastic bags or ketchup packets.

Turner Place has several waste stations with options for organic waste/ compostables, commingled recycling and trash.  Here’s a picture of a waste station in Bruegger’s Bagels. 

Next time you’re in Turner Place, look around and see how many waste stations there are inside and outside. Inform your friends what the difference between compostable, commingled and trash is and don’t let fellow Hokies sort their trash improperly!