This fall marks yet another turning point for the Colleges’ commitment to the environment-nearly all of the waste food from the Saga Dining Hall is composted, touts Sustainability Coordinator James Landi ’08 of the HWS Goes Green program.
Though still in its pilot phase, the compost initiative allows students, faculty and staff to participate by providing a limited number of receptacles to those who want to get involved. The hope is to prove the viability of satellite composting and eventually open the program to the entire campus. Participants in the pilot program bring receptacles to the campus compost location behind the Scandling Campus Center.
Serious efforts to compost started during this year’s Orientation weekend, when all catered events were designed to reduce waste and all cutlery and plastic dishes were made from biomass, like corn and sugarcane, and therefore compostable.
“There’s an average of a one-ton output of compost per week from Saga alone,” says Sustainability Coordinator James Landi, who was hired full-time after spending the summer interning at HWS with the Climate Taskforce. “The ultimate goal here is waste reduction.”
Some students enrolled in the environmental studies program’s Senior Integrated Experience (SIE), in which they work one-on-one with a professor about an environmental issue of their choice, are working with the Climate Commitment Taskforce to reduce the amount of food wasted and to consider the environmental impact of the way things are done on campus.
“These are steps in the right direction,” says Landi. “We’re not fully there yet, but we’re definitely going in the right direction.”