Residential Composting
INITIATIVE NAME Residential Composting
UNIVERSITY Wesleyan University
TAGS students | compost | waste reduction | food waste
CONTACT Jennifer Kleindienst <jkleindienst@wesleyan.edu>
WEBSITES www.wesleyan.edu/sustainability/recycling/compost.html




SUMMARY

Students run a self-service residential composting initiative, available to most student and employee residences.



IMPACT

Between 1-2 tons of food waste are collected from student residences annually.  Each year, more residences have participated.  In 2014, food waste was collected from dorms for the first time with the help of the Eco Facilitators.



PROCEDURE

In September 2010, student interns began a residential composting initiative for student and employee residences.  Composting households receive a 5 gallon bucket and instructions for household collection and are responsible for emptying the bucket into the nearest black composting bin. Composting is currently available for most student residences.  



MISTAKES & LESSONS LEARNED

We've had a lot of hiccups because of winter weather.  The backyard black bins are often frozen and/or a path to them is limited over the winter, which restricts collection.  We usually have to ask students to stop collecting during some of the winter months.  We also have a lot of issues with our Earth Tubs, which makes collection challenging.



FUTURE PLANS

We'd like to eventually handle all pre- and post-consumer food waste in one on-site in vessel system, though the costs are currently prohibitive to do so.  We're experimenting with larger backyard bins so that we (hopefully) won't have to stop compost collection each winter anymore.