Higher Education Gets an A in Sustainability Efforts
Holy Cross’ Compost Pilot in Dorms
WM Total Recycle Program (TRP) began collaborating with Holy Cross last summer on a program to expand composting to students in dorms. This semester, Williams Hall is participating in a pilot. Following the finalization of the pilot logistics with facilities and dining services, we conducted a pre-pilot waste audit to assess the amount of food waste in the trash receptacles and we will compare results to a post-pilot waste audit. Training, education, flyers, and email notification were completed, along with individual compost bin distribution at the beginning of the semester. TRP will continue training as needed while Eco Reps maintain daily oversight.
2nd Student Sustainability Summit, 4/20/2018
Last spring, WM Total Recycle Program collaborated with Johnson and Wales University to hold a Student Sustainability Summit open to any college student. The student-led summit included expert speakers on sustainability topics specified by students, sharing of best sustainability practices on respective campuses, networking, and identifying action steps.
Holy Cross is hosting the next Student Sustainability Summit on 4/20. Similarly, students are formalizing the agenda, which currently includes divestment, environmental racism, plastic bag bans, solar energy, ethical consumption, and industrial farming. To assist with transportation challenges, TRP plans to coordinate a third summit for students of higher education institutions north of Boston.
Reusable Initiatives with Stonehill College and Worcester Polytechnic Institute
WM Total Recycle Program began its Clean Plate Challenge (CPC) program with higher education customers two years ago to focus on food waste reduction. Additionally, TRP has been working with higher education customers on waste reduction initiatives, i.e. reusable to-go container for dining services. In preparation to “ditch the disposable” campus wide, Stonehill College is conducting a pilot of its Green2Go program next month, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) held its ribbon cutting ceremony introducing its Eco Exchange Machine for reusable containers.
Disposable containers generate a lot of waste and the Green2Go initiative is trying to combat this and reduce the amount of trash the campus sends to landfills every day. Thanks to the collaboration with college and university facilities, dining services, faculty, staff, and student environmental groups, our efforts have been successful toward waste reduction. See WPI article on the ribbon cutting ceremony here.