Composting Heats Up at HWS – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Composting Heats Up at HWS

All around the country, landfills are filling up, garbage incineration is becoming increasingly unpopular, and other waste disposal options are becoming ever harder to find. Composting provides a way not only of reducing the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of, but also of converting it into a product that is useful for gardening, landscaping or house plants. The Colleges are keeping pace with the latest trends in composting and waste reduction.  

“Composting was officially institutionalized here on campus in 2008, and we have seen dramatic increases since that time,” says Jamie Landi ’08, sustainability coordinator at HWS. He notes the Colleges composted 66 tons of organic waste in 2010, an increase of more than 25 percent from 2009. November was the best month for composting, with about nine tons of compost collected from all over campus.  “On average, the campus collects about 1.8 tons of compost weekly!”

The majority of the Colleges’ compost was formerly post consumer food waste from Saga, but food waste is also collected from catered events, the café and the pub. In addition, all service ware (cups, plates, forks, etc.) used in retail dining locations across campus is entirely compostable.

Landi explains there are plans to increase composting efforts even further during 2011. With the beginning of the spring semester, the Colleges started a new campaign with the Village at Odell’s and more than 20 units have signed up to participate.

“This move to include composting in residential buildings is a new program on campus and hopefully will result in a dramatic increase over the course of this year,” he says.