Friday, September 28, 2012

Composting Comes to Upper!!

We are proud to announce that on Monday September 24th composting  began at Upper Class Dining Hall! 
This initiative has been a long time coming and has been made possible by the collaboration of Dining Services, Empire Zero and the Schenectady County Composting Facility. Upper is the first phase of our comprehensive composting program, so if all goes well we'll be  expanding to West!

Students from Ozone House and Environmental Club welcomed the campus community to the new composting program by monitoring the waste/scraping stations during lunch on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday. By Wednesday students no longer needed their help, hopefully indicating that food waste/compostables separation will be a smooth transition!

Our first week has been extremely successful, contamination has been minimal, lets hope that it stays that way!

But what is compost...?
Compost is the decomposition of organic matter. Food waste is wetted, aerated, turned and under the right conditions will break down into a humus. Compost can be used to enhance soils, act as a natural pesticide and reduce erosion.  

Why are we composting at Union? 
We are composting for a variety of reasons! Composting reduces the amount of food waste going to the landfill and thus the production of methane (30x more potent than CO2) during decomposition, our carbon footprint and our waste hauling costs. We are composting because we believe that our food scraps are more useful in the form of compost than they are in our landfills! And because composting promotes a cradle to cradle mindset rather than cradle to grave.

What can I compost?

 If you can eat it you can compost it! 
All food scraps
 Straws and napkins from upper

What can't I compost?

Peanut butter, butter, honey and condiment portion cups
 Paper cups 
 Coffee cup lids
 Sugar and tea bag wrappers
 Coffee stirrers
 Plastic cutlery
Other wrappers 

There are three bins for compostable items and one bin for trash. All bins are clearly labeled to avoid confusion! 

Special thanks to Dining Services for making this happen!! 

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