A new program at Confluence Health Hospital Central Campus in Wenatchee is turning kitchen waste into locally produced compost.  

The hospital says it started the composting project at the urging of the cooks that work its lines. 

Confluence Health spokesperson Adam McDonald says the hospital kitchen produces a large amount of organic waste. 

"The tops of tomatoes, lettuce leaves that don't make the cut, the inside of bell peppers, eggshells and even some paper products that previously would've just gone into the regular trash collection service," said McDonald. 

The hospital says it started the composting project at the urging of the cooks that work its lines. 

Central Campus Kitchen - Image from Confluence Health
Central Campus Kitchen - Image from Confluence Health
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Its food services team was contacted by Winton Manufacturing sales, marketing, and outreach manager Robbette Schmit about starting to divert their compostable waste. 

Winton Manufacturing of Leavenworth recently began servicing the Wenatchee area and had made a similar outreach to Wenatchee Valley College for their waste. 

Confluence Health agreed to partner with the company which began the process. 

McDonald says the kitchen is now sending a substantial amount to be composed. 

"Central Campus is currently diverting about 200 pounds of food waste a week, which is the equivalent of about a ton of compostables a month" McDonald said. 

Despite being only in the early stages of the program, the hospital says it's working well and there are plans to expand the project. 

“To start, we began by focusing on pre-consumer waste – the leftover scraps that come from preparing meals that can’t be used but can easily be collected and turned into compost – but we hope to later expand into collecting postconsumer waste as well, which is the food that is left over when cleaning up,” said Michelle Harris, food services director at Confluence Health. 

Confluence Health says the program has been a great success and has found enthusiastic support among the kitchen staff. 

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