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Kapiʻolani CC’s edible schoolyard

Kapiʻolani CC’s edible schoolyard

The Culinary Arts Sustainable Food Service earth tub, a small-scale, in-vessel composting system for recycling organic waste materials on site.

The Culinary Arts Sustainable Food Service earth tub, a small-scale, in-vessel composting system for recycling organic waste materials on site.

Kapiʻolani Community College’s culinary arts program received the Environmental Protection Agency’s Certificate of Achievement for increasing food waste diversion from landfills by 183 percent from 2013–2014 and preventing 9 metric tons of carbon equivalent.

Techniques used were vermi-composting, forced-air composting, waste-oil to biodiesel generation, edible gardens and aquaponic systems.

The culinary arts team is led by Ron Takahashi, department chair, and Dave Brown, pastry chef instructor, who is the primary coordinator of the department’s sustainable food service efforts.

The waste oil to biodiesel generation initiative was led by Kathy Ogata, assistant professor of chemistry, and her undergraduate research and service-learning students. Ogata developed this initiative after participating in two summer institutes held by the Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibilities.

The program’s biodiesel processor converts vegetable oils or animal fats into diesel fuel consisting of long-chain fatty acid methyl esters.

The program’s biodiesel processor converts vegetable oils or animal fats into diesel fuel consisting of long-chain fatty acid methyl esters.

This is a great example of interdisciplinary sustainability cross-overs between liberal arts, STEM education and career and technical education in the community colleges.

The Kapiʻolani Service and Sustainability Learning program implements some of these techniques with partners at Palolo public housing with Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander families and with the Waikiki Elementary Food Farm.

Both these partnerships have been enhanced with funding from the Housing and Urban Development Office of University Partnerships. The Palolo partnership was additionally supported by the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research program.

From NCSCE and SENCER eNews, reprinted with permission from Robert Franco

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