Connecticut College News
Connecticut College launches on-campus composting initiative11/19/2007
November 19, 2007
Tyler Dunham '09 (left) and Misha Johnson '08 dump leaves into one of the College's new "Earth Tubs," commercial-size composting units that will reduce the College's food waste by up to 35,000 lbs.
With one big grind, Connecticut College officially began composting earlier today, as the college community gathered for a celebration and demonstration of the college´s two Earth Tubs, commercial-sized compost units that will reduce the college´s food waste by up to 35,000 pounds a year.
-Environmental stewardship is part of everything we do here at Connecticut College,- President Leo I. Higdon Jr. said at the event. -This composting system is a great example of how we don´t just say it, but live it every day in all that we do.-
Food waste - including fruit, pasta, egg shells, tea bags and napkins - from two of the dining halls on campus will now be collected daily by students and turned into compost using the Earth Tubs, which are fully enclosed and insulated. The compost will be used in the college´s organic garden and will be donated to F.R.E.S.H. New London, a non-profit organization that seeks to educate, encourage and empower the people of New London County toward personal wellness, community health and environmental stewardship by focusing on the local food system.
This student initiative was originally developed for the Ecomagination Challenge, a contest sponsored by GE and mtvU that challenged college students to develop new, creative ways to green their campuses. Senior Misha Johnson and juniors Tyler Dunham and Leia Crosby came up with the idea for the composting initiative.
More than 100 colleges and universities submitted proposals, including Harvard University, New York University, Northwestern University and Stanford University. Connecticut College finished in the top 10. After the conclusion of the contest last spring, an anonymous Connecticut College alumna stepped up to fund the $25,000 project.
-This project has had so much support from the college community,- Dunham said. -In just one year, we were able to take an idea and make it a reality. It started with a student initiative, but it has really become a whole community project.-
The composting system is the latest in a series of environmental initiatives by Connecticut College. Recently, for example, the college was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the 2006-2007 Individual Conference Champion for purchasing more green power than any other school in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).
Historically, Connecticut College has been a leader in environmentalism. In 1969, the college became one of the first undergraduate schools in the country to offer an environmental studies program - then called -Human Ecology.-