Exciting things are happening on campus! This year SPU has incorporated a pilot composting program for students living in campus apartments. At the beginning of this quarter, each apartment was granted a their own personal compost bin along with a sample of compostable bags. The individual bins can be emptied into a larger food/yard waste collection bin next to each building’s exterior garbage and recycle bins. This composting program is a significant step in SPU’s continual commitment to waste reduction and supporting a sustainable campus. Last year’s waste audit was a reflection of the amount of materials that campus apartment residents will be able to divert from the landfill by properly recycling and composting.
Incorporating composting into your daily routine is a simple task once you get the hang of it, and small contributions to your bin can make a huge impact for the community. Seattle Public Utilities reported that in 2009, out of 151,000 tons of commercially disposed waste, 64,000 tons (42%) were organics including food and compostable paper. Composting is a great first step in significantly decreasing your waste output. Seattle’s waste is currently transported by a train (100 cars in length and two units high) to a landfill 300 miles away in Arlington, Oregon. Cedar Grove Composting, located in Everett, provides a sustainable alternative source for the majority of our local waste, keeping more money in our local economy and lowering our transportation footprint.
If you are unfamiliar with local composting practices, there are some great resources available. Check out the Seattle Public Utilities site for more information on what is allowed in your compost bins. Also, below is a video provided by Cedar Grove Composting on their Everett processing plant. This composting plant is currently the largest of its kind in the world.