Maggots found on DSU loading dock

Maggots climb the poles of a platform over thousands of other maggots in the loading dock of Downing Student Union on Wednesday, October 02, 2013.

Jacob Parker

After rain recently flooded campus, maggots were flushed out from underground to the surface of the loading dock in the back of Fresh Food Company in the Downing Student Union, administrators say.

As early as Wednesday, Oct. 2, maggots covered the top level of the loading dock.

Workers set up a salt barrier between the loading dock area and the kitchen area of DSU, to keep the maggots out.

As of Monday afternoon, dead and live maggots were still on the dock, in lesser numbers.

With the new waste system implemented at DSU, maggots are a natural part of the fertilizing process.

A “pulper” squeezes the liquid out of wasted food and squeezes it into a sealed dumpster.

The waste from Fresh Foods is turned into compost by maggots, which will help turn it into fertilizer that goes to Baker Arboretum.

Sustainability Coordinator Christian Ryan-Downing told the Herald last month that the new system was a test for other areas of campus.

“If it works well with Fresh Food, we’ll expand and do more food waste at other places,” she said.

Ryan-Downing and Dan Chaney, project manager for the DSU renovation, could not be reached for this story.

Steve Hoyng, resident district manager for Aramark, said the underground system takes care of the waste that will be turned into fertilizer. He said there is no evidence that shows maggots ever entered the kitchen area.

Hoyng said maggot infestations aren’t abnormal.

“Any time you have an area where any kind of debris is, maggots could be there,” he said.

Hoyng said the maggots were brought to the surface of the ground by all of the rain water.

“You also have to realize the building is still under construction, so not everything is sealed as it should be,” he said. “You know, there’s garbage containers out there.”

While this is a recent problem, Hoyng said it’s being taken care of.

“We have called our pest control company and explained, and they have taken measures,” he said. “They’ve sprayed and etcetera. It’s a recent issue and we haven’t figured everything out.”