Meals that Heal the Waste Stream

Sometimes it takes a hospital to mend a malfunctioning waste stream. When PlanItGreen gathered a group of Oak Park and River Forest institutions to work collaboratively to begin food scrap diversion, Rush Oak Park Hospital was one of the first on board. Despite valiant efforts, the Food Scrap Collection Collaboration could not find affordable waste hauling options as a group. Undaunted, Rush Oak Park Hospital went forward alone. Seven Generations Ahead provided strategic support, conducting walk-throughs to understand the waste flow and suggest negotiating strategies with their hauler. The hospital also followed Seven Generations Ahead's advice to scale up slowly. They began in their kitchen, added tray return from patient rooms, and plan to make further improvements. Rush Oak Park Hospital's food scrap diversion program now serves as a model for other institutions in the area, as well as other hospitals in Chicago and beyond.