It would be no exaggeration to say that the Refectory Team at Collyer’s are serious about Sustainability. Under clear leadership from Debbie Pitfield, Catering Manager, the team have been steadily improving their green credentials with several initiatives to reduce their inputs, re-use what they can and safely recycle. When students and staff pop into the Refectory they might have spotted that their snacks and lunches are being served in biodegradable, starch-based packaging but, that is only the tip of their sustainable approach.
Behind the scenes in the Refectory kitchen, you will see energy-efficient fridges and freezers and long-lasting equipment; and in their daily routines you would notice staff cooking from scratch, batch-baking and using local ingredients where possible. It is important to Debbie that they receive infrequent bulk food deliveries, travelling the least distance and with little or no packaging when they can. And, of course, all food packaging is recycled, as is the cooking oil, which is collected and re-purposed as biodiesel.
So how are the Refectory team looking to become more sustainable in future? Debbie is hoping to source even more produce locally and to start using ingredients that are sourced fairly. The other main initiative is to tackle waste by encouraging more recycling in the Refectory and by reducing the number of single-use items we consume every day – such as, water in plastic bottles. These are small changes that students and staff can support every lunchtime, recycling what we can and re-using our own water bottles, but combining our efforts, we can have a significant impact on our sustainability as a college.