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Composting for a better campus

By Stephanie Clue [1]

BELLEVILLE – Loyalist College is asking students to think twice before throwing away their food.

The college has reintroduced its composting program [2], and is encouraging students to separate food scraps from ordinary recyclables, such as plastic and cardboard.

Sustainability [3] co-ordinator Jessica Spooner said although residence was already set up with compost bins, “I’d noticed that nobody was really using them.”

In order to encourage students to start using the bins, a partnership between the college residence and the Campus Living Centre allowed for the purchase of bin liners, eliminating the need for students to clean them out.

“Now both old residence and new residence are set up with compost bins, bin liners and information on composting,” Spooner said. “Now all they have to do is toss the waste.”

To get staff involved in becoming green, Spooner said they now have to separate their own garbage. Over the summer, the waste bins staff had by their desks were eliminated and they now only have recycle bins. Spooner said staff is encouraged to go out to the garbage containers in the hall to separate recyclables from waste.

In 2013, the province of Ontario produced 12 million tonnes of waste [4], which is nearly one tonne per person.

Spooner said she wants to expand the composting program to help reduce the amount of waste the college produces.

“We would be looking at providing access to composting in the dining areas, like the Link Lounge and the cafeteria,” she said.”They have the countertop waste, so we would just create a place for compost.”

Spooner said she hopes this will be implemented within the year.

First-year journalism [5] student Becky McMullen said she doesn’t compost. “When you use it, sometimes the bin doesn’t fill up1 fast enough and fruit flies are everywhere. That’s disgusting.”

McMullen says she would consider composting if there was a better system.

“If they explained it better, I’d do it,” she said. “I never heard anything about it until three days ago.”

She said that composting is a good idea, because the waste goes back into the environment. One downside, she said, was the smell.

Spooner said if students want to help improve the environment on campus, they can join the Green Lancers – a volunteer group run by Sustainable Loyalist. They have an orientation Sept. 28 during universal break.