Student Government, Waste Reduction and Recycling and University Housing recently partnered to purchase and install a total of 240 compost pails in Tower and Plaza Hall at Wolf Ridge Apartments and Arctic and Hudson buildings at Wolf Village Apartments on campus.
According to student project leader Ann Winstead, this initiative aims to boost compost collection in campus apartments by providing access to compost bins in addition to traditional waste and recycling bins.
“Accessibility [to compost collection] is a huge barrier not only on campus, but everywhere. We can never expect people to recycle or compost properly if it isn’t an option as ubiquitous as trash cans,” said Winstead, who serves as a Student Government student senator and an intern for Waste Reduction and Recycling. “I wanted to make composting a fixed permanent structure for students, just like recycling and trash is, and start exposing more people to the closed loop system we have on campus.”
With Student Government funding and guidance from Waste Reduction and Recycling on the residence halls that have compost dumpsters readily accessible, Winstead reached out to Housing and selected four campus apartment buildings because they produce more compostable material than other residence halls.
Before students moved in this August, each compost bin was placed with a flyer specific to the building, including a map of compost dumpster location as well as what can and cannot be composted.
Winstead hopes this project is just the beginning of adding more compost infrastructure on campus. “Now, the [Student Government] Sustainability Department has a compost initiative in the written job requirements, which means every year we will address composting on campus in some shape or fashion,” she said.