Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Campus compost far from rotten

In a survey of food waste from January to April 2010, Prentiss Dining Hall produced an average of   2,007 pounds of food waste per week.   In comparison in 2007, 5,488 pounds of food waste were generated by Whitman’s dining halls and Reid per week. This figure is more than the weight of an average vehicle in the United States. The decrease is the result of efforts to reduce the waste made by students, administration and food services alike.

Recently the Industrial Composting Working Group have received 16,000 dollars in grants, including ASWC’s “Green Fund” to install a large industrial compost worm-wigwam system.   The food waste will be put into the composter outside of Jewett Dining Hall, be processed by worms, and then transferred over to a storage site at the Physical Plant.

This new compost system will accommodate up to 100-150 pounds a day, which is approximately a fifth of the food waste produced by Bon Appetit on a daily basis. This compost will be used by the Physical Plant in landscaping and by Student Agriculture at Whitman for the microgreens project.

This initiative expands on previous composting efforts. In the past, residence hall section Green Leaders, first-years recruited by Campus Climate Challenge to push for low carbon lifestyles in residence halls were responsible for small composting tumblers outside of residence halls. However, this project was cut short.

“An excess of waste and the harsh weather of the winter months drastically slowed the decomposition process,” said Sustainability Intern junior Katie Radosevic.

Previously, in a project started by senior Peter Gurche, the Organic Garden Club picked up some of the waste from the dining halls and used it for compost.

As an additional effort to reduce food waste, the Walla Walla Senior Citizens Center comes to Prentiss Dining Hall to pick up leftover food, which is consumed both at the center and used for its Meals on Wheels Program.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All Whitman Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • D

    DanielleMay 1, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Great article! I would suggest writing future articles to keep the campus and community informed as the process continues. The Industrial Composting Working Group will not stop meeting and working on this project once the system is implemented in the fall. There are many more steps to this process, including monitoring the system once in place and eventually properly composting all Bon Appetit’s food waste. Onward!