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Composting comes to campus

If you wondered why someone was walking around campus dressed as a fried egg on Tuesday, Claire Henkel ‘13 can tell you.  “This way, I don’t have to bombard people, asking them to listen to my spiel,” she said. “People ask me first.”

Henkel was excited about a new composting system implemented by the college at the beginning of the semester. Composting, a process by which organic matter decomposes over time and is eventually recycled for use as fertilizer, is a popular practice to reduce waste and reuse discarded materials. It is one of the many initiatives developed to help Macalester become a zero-waste campus by 2020. The initial idea for the program came after the sustainability office’s waste sort study in 2010 concluded that almost half of the school’s trash could potentially be composted.

Since then, both students and staff have been working to get a composting project off the ground on campus–or rather, back into it. Composting bins have been installed next to trash cans in the Campus Center, Carnegie, Markim Hall and Olin-Rice. Bon Appétit now offers compostable dishware for catered events. Future goals include educating students and faculty about the benefits of composting and installing a central bin for students living off-campus to deposit their waste on their way to class.

Ask questions, give suggestions, or volunteer for the project by emailing Claire at [email protected], or visiting macalester.edu/composting.

February 1, 2013

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