Composting on Campus Katy Kresge Assistant Director of Residential Services Lehigh University MACUHO 2012
Goals • Outline the history of the residential composting program at Lehigh University. • Identify successes and challenges of the program. • Identify opportunities for you to implement a program on your campus.
What is Composting? • The natural process that occurs in nature resulting from the decomposition of organic materials. • Using a compost bin allows for the same process that occurs in nature to occur at an accelerated rate. • Composting is important because it significantly reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills.
History of Lehigh’s Residential Composting Program • 2008- “Green House” LiveLehigh! Community had composter installed funded by Residential Services. • 2010- Alpha Phi and Sigma Phi Epsilon had composters installed funded by Green Fund grant. • 2012- Kappa Alpha Theta, Zeta Tau Alpha and Phi Kappa Theta installed composters funded by Residential Services.
How Does the Program Work • Chapter must complete a Composting Packet. • Information on how to successfully implement and coordinate program. • List of materials needed. • Composting agreement, which requires signatures from President, House Manager, Chef, Housing Corp./Alumni, Chapter Compost Coordinator and Residential Services.
How Does the Program Work? • Residential Services purchases composter. • Composter installed over semester break. • Sustainability Coordinator runs frequent checks to ensure each composter is in good health. • Chapter keeps log of how much material is being composted and when it is being emptied. • When ready, the chapter issues a work order to have bin emptied and taken to local farm. • Chapter is given an end date for program at the end of each semester (last week of class).
Materials Needed • The Composter • Lehigh uses Gaiam- Sun Mar 400 Retails for $499.00 *Funded by Residential Services
Material Needed • Flyers and Signs explaining program. • Provided by Sustainability Coordinator. • Buckets, cleaning supplies & gloves. • Provided by Greek Chapter.
Challenges • Smell • Equal parts green and brown materials. • Attracting Animals • Petri dish of vinegar deters animals. • Maintaining Active Composting • Pile should be turned every day. • Process should take two weeks. • Excess Material • Once a pile is started and turned, nothing else should be added.
Challenges • Making sure the chapter is invested in the program long term. • Accreditation
Successes • 125 lbs. of trash diverted per month/per house • 5,625 lbs. of trash diverted.
Keys to Success • Group needs to be committed to program. • Expectations need to be clearly communicated. • Needs to be a plan of succession. • Administration needs to have frequent health checks of composter.
Questions/Thank You! Katy Kresge Lehigh University firstname.lastname@example.org