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Recent Edgewood College Graduate Works to Initiate Composting Program


Edgewood College has worked towards implementing a composting program for students on campus in the past. With the help of Edgewood graduate Halie Tenor, the process of starting that program is coming along.

Tenor is serving through Chartwells as the Dining Services Sustainability Intern at Edgewood. Though Dining Services staff has participated in composting through their work in the kitchen for years, the goal is to now bring that option to students, too.

The compost will be picked up twice a week by the company Rooted Curbside Compost. Once the composting bin is established, Rooted Curbside Compost will transfer the waste from the kitchens and trash areas of each dining hall to a hot compost pile in Mazomanie, Wisconsin.

Tenor’s current task is creating signs to place above waste areas on campus that designate what items can be recycled, composted, and sent to landfill. There were similar signs hung up in Wingra Café last year made by Tenor, but she is now producing new ones in hopes of being more professional and narrow down the products to what fits Edgewood’s resources. “Students can expect to see a third bin for compost within the semester,” she said.

Tenor works closely with the Director of Dining Services, Jennifer Fellows, and Edgewood’s facility staff in order to execute her ideas. There are a few restrictions as to what items and how much can be composted, but Tenor is committed to making the program work.

She said, “Forgetting the space limitations of Phil’s and Wingra, I would like the compost areas in the dining halls to look like waste stations where there are a few different bins, signs, and options to help students realize they should sort through their things.” She hopes that, ideally, these sites will be seen in the residence halls someday.

Her motivation for initiating a composting program stems from her belief that Edgewood needs to step up. There are many waste streams that have ways to recycle, and Edgewood only collects two: landfill waste and regular recycling of paper, glass, and plastic.

She said, “The way to be most effective on our campus, I think, is by collecting food waste because we have two dining halls on campus, and everyone eats. I just assume that so much of the waste we produce is compostable.” Tenor will be holding her position as the Dining Services Sustainability Intern for one year, but she envisions an efficient program that will stick around.

For any questions: contact Halie Tenor at htenor@edgewood.edu

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