Composting and recycling has been the focus for 10 Hobart and William Smith Colleges environmental studies students this semester
(Dec. 9, 2004) GENEVA, N.Y.–One day every two weeks, William Smith senior Carrie Gibian hikes to the compost bin near Houghton House and dumps the days' food waste from the Colleges' dining hall into the compost bin, adding the necessary wood chips and microorganisms to hasten decomposition. The act is more than environmentally sound. It has now become a Hobart and William Smith tradition.
Three years ago, environmental studies students at the Colleges conducted a feasibility study of composting on campus. Last year students designed and built bins and started composting. This year students have carried on the practice. Gibian is one of 10 students in this year's Environmental Studies Senior Integrative Experience Group who have been involved in the campus' composting efforts this semester.
“We understood the previous classes' contributions and wanted to expand on their work,” says Gibian of Kennett Square, Penn.
This semester, the group has increased the campus' composting and recycling programs while working to improve awareness of such efforts on campus and within the community. Since September, the group has composted nearly 4,000 pounds of materials.
Under the direction of Anne Wibiralske, assistant professor of the Environmental Studies Program, five affiliated research projects were conducted throughout this semester. Projects included a model display, set up in the Colleges' library atrium, and a grade school curriculum centered on composting. The group also conducted surveys and rated the recycling efforts in several of the residence halls.
In addition to Gibian, students in the group include Alyssa Carlson of Princeton, N.J., Katie Clifford of Kirkville, N.Y., Ellen McClintock of West Bath, Maine, Phil Gillio of Rochester, N.Y., Caitlin Rogers of Concord, N.H., Garett Rosati of Camillus, N.Y., Hilary Schreiber of Waverly, N.Y., Joe Sievert of Wilson, N.Y., and Lisa White of Portland, Maine.