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Composting, the right way

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BY ERICH MAYNARD

Landfill. Recycle. Compost. Students see the three square trash bins labeled with the three words every day in the Dining Commons. However, many don’t the take the time to separate garbage.

Everyone knows what can go into the landfill and recycle bins but the compost one is new for some students.

Stonehill now has a solar farm, single stream recycling, and composting to save energy. Composting is easy to do but some people still don’t quite do it right, several said.

In basic terms, composting is taking any sort of scrap food waste such as apple cores, sandwich crusts, even pasta bits placing them in a compost pile, giving those scraps a second life.

Compost can also include leaf litter and other landscaping materials, which when layered in the compost helps make a more nutrient rich soil.

Stonehill started composting three years ago, after students who composted at home asked the school to give it a try.

Bridget Meigs, the farm manager for Stonehill and an advocate for composting, said she sees the impact composting makes as she works on the farm.

She said composting creates better soil and helps the school cut refuse removal costs.

Meigs said composting diverts waste from the landfill and helps creates nutrient rich soil, while being cleaner for the environment.

“Garbage companies charge according to weight, and by volume, and scraps are really heavy, so if there’s less of the compostable material its cheaper for the college,” Meigs said.

On average, the farm receives over 100 pounds of compostable material a day.

In the Mindful Living Community in the courts, students have taken the initiative to live together in a more environmentally considerate way. The residents have a compost bin on the side of Rehoboth, where they empty their compostable materials.

When the bin is full, facilities empties it and brings it to the farm with the rest of the compost from campus.

Lauren McCabe, a Stonehill senior, who lives in the Mindful Living Community, first discovered composting when she came to Stonehill as a sophomore.

“I was just eating a banana, when I was done I just opened the door threw it in the bucket, and that was it. It’s as easy as throwing something in the trash and it gets to go somewhere beneficial rather than a landfill,” McCabe said.

McCabe’s goal is to open the compost bin for the entire court.

Molly Birmingham, a first year student, is new to composting but thinks it’s a good idea for campus.

“I’ve heard of composting before but until I came here I never thought of it very much, at home no one around me did it, so my family surely wasn’t going to start,” Birmingham said.

As the school year progressed, and Birmingham became more versed in composting, she saw how much it does for the environment.

“Now that I live on campus, and I know more about how composting works, I definitely take the time to separate my food into the right bins,” Birmingham said.

As the first farm outreach Coordinator, Devin Ingersoll who graduated from Stonehill last year, considers composting important for Stonehill.

“I was part of the group food truth, and a volunteer at the farm, also I’ve been a composter for mostly entire life at home. I felt like we were going backwards when we weren’t not composting,” Ingersoll said.

Ingersoll said she believes with the new compost bins in the Dining Commons, more and more students will get into the routine of separating their waste.

“I definitely think we have a ways to, the students who know what compost is do it well, but I don’t think that everyone knows what compost it and what it does,” Ingersoll said.

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