IU Connection

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IU Office of Sustainability

“The mission of the Indiana University Office of Sustainability (IUOS) is to advance sustainable human-environment interactions within the Bloomington campus and community by facilitating collaborative academic and operational initiatives. IUOS defines sustainability as thriving within our means to achieve balance among environmental health, economic prosperity, and social equity. “

IUOS has established many sustainability initiatives around the IUB campus and Hilltop is proud to be part of their food initiative. The mission of the IU Food Working Group is: “To promote high-quality dining options for IUB’s students, staff, and faculty that support sustainable agricultural and food distribution practices while minimizing energy use and waste generation.”

 Edible Campus Garden Initiative

The IUOS Edible Campus Initiative aims to foster environmental and social sustainability by creating interactive, edible gardening spaces on the IU-Bloomington campus. The Edible Campus Garden is currently one of two gardens managed through the IUOS, the other being at the Bryan House. The IUOS “food intern” is responsible for coordinating the efforts around the garden at Hilltop.

Food Waste Composting Program

Hilltop’s food waste composting program started in September 2011 out of the efforts of Steve Akers, Associate Director of Residential Program Services (RPS) environmental operations, Brad Hayden, General Manager for RPS Dining Services and Lea Woodard, Coordinator Hilltop Garden & Nature Center, with the hope that at least some of the food waste from Indiana University dining halls could be diverted from a landfill and used to create nutrient rich compost for gardens on the IUB campus.

As the composting program grew over the following years, new and larger compost bins were built and the logistics of the composting process were refined. We are still learning how to make a more efficient system, but as of the spring of 2015, IU Building Services collected about 600 gallons or about 2700 lbs of food waste in 33 gallon cans each week from four different dining facilities during the IUB academic school year and delivered them to Hilltop Gardens to be composted.


Hilltop has many unpaid internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate level students in many areas of study. Internships may qualify for credit towards a degree. Fill out an application here or contact the Hilltop Coordinator for more information or questions regarding the following educational opportunities: