Going Compostal

compost containers

What is Goin’ Compostal?
Our goal is to make composting accessible to all Brandeis students. We will distribute portable dorm compost containers for individual rooms and place outdoor compost bins in each quad. Students can fill their dorm compost containers with compostable material and then empty them into the outdoor bins. The outdoor bins will be retrieved by maintenance and the compost will be added to Brandeis’s current compost pile (next to Old South Street).

food scraps

Our outdoor compost bins will be similar to the one pictured here.

 

compost bin

Don’t know what’s compostable?
Not to worry! The outdoor bins will have signs designating what can and cannot be composted. Like this:

composte poster

 

Why should I go Compostal?
It's good for the environment and for our purse strings: According to Campus Facilities, Brandeis produced 2,339 tons of trash and 206 tons of recycling, in the 2011-2012 school year. Brandeis is required to pay for every ton of tash removed. We also pay for the effect waste has on the environment.
Aside from compost being a good, environmentally friendly habit, on-campus composting diverts certain types of waste from the Brandeis waste stream and puts them to good use (i.e. landscaping). Currently all our compostable waste from Usdan and Sherman is taken to WeCare, a compost facility in Marlborough, MA, which sorts the waste and turns the compost into reusable topsoil. Composting on campus will save the university money that would otherwise be spent on:

  1. Transporting the waste to a landfill, which produces green house gases (from both fuel consumption and from food rotting in a landfill)
  2. Fertilizer for the plants around campus.

Savings!
University of Kentucky released a study saying that 10-25% its waste is compostable. Although Kentucky is a bigger school, this project could probably also reduce Brandeis’s waste by 10-25 %.

DIY Compost Containers the Cheap and Fun way!
In conjunction with the Eco Reps, we helped host a compost container decorating event in which students decorated yogurt tubs to reuse for in dorm composting containers. Just goes to show how easy, cheap and fun composting can be!

Goin’ Compostal! is brought to you by Deanna Heller (’15) and Alex De Denko (’13) as part of Professor Laura Goldin’s Greening the Ivory Tower class autumn of 2012. We created this project to make use of certain food scraps and papers that would otherwise be pointlessly thrown away and putting them toward something better.