Composting initiative begins at Dining Hall as part of sustainability efforts

By Bervlyn Opong ’16Contributing Writer

The College recently began composting at the Dining Hall with the goal of reducing F&M’s carbon footprint, as well as minimizing incineration and the amount of waste product. The College began this project in compliance with the Sustainability Master Plan.

“This is the right thing to do”, said Tom Simpson, sustainability coordinator. “Our goal is to capture as much food and compostable waste as possible.”

Phase one of the composting project began in November 2013. Waste products such as food scraps, paper napkins, compostable cups and paper plates from KIVO were collected from the kitchen and processed.

The second phase of the project began on Jan. 17 and included collecting post-consumer waste from the students at the Dining Hall.

“We are not yet done,” Simpson said. “We are currently on to phase three, which does not have a timetable as of yet, but that will include capturing waste from satellite locations including ZeBi, the [Steinman] College Center, and house kitchens around the campus.”

The College competes in Recyclemania, a national contest among colleges, in order to exemplify its commitment to sustainability. F&M students have quickly embraced the idea of the project, showing their individual commitment to Sustainability.

“We might also be saving some money and, we hope, to use some of the finished compost on our shrubs, grass lawns, and sports fields,” said Simpson. “Finally, we feel good about supporting the local business and agricultural economy.”

The Sustainability Committee, Facilities and Operations, and Sodexo are deeply involved in maintaining the program. A huge factor in the success of the program lies in the elimination of non-compostable individual packets in KIVO.

“We practically have zero contamination at this point and, in fact, all of KIVO eating utensils and tableware will soon be compostable,” said Simpson.

Sophomore Bervlyn Opong is a contributing writer. Her email is bopong@fandm.edu.

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