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Nick Spinelli '17, Sustainability Intern for Academic Programs
Compost pails have arrived at the University Villas, adding a new level of waste diversion at Santa Clara. Despite each of the 138 units in the Villas featuring a full-scale kitchen, up until now there was no simple way for residents to compost their food waste. Thanks to SLURP students Chonsa Schmidt ‘18 and Kim Grandi ‘19 (pictured), the need for a composting program in the Villas was brought to the University's attention. These students worked with Professor Stephanie Hughes to apply for funding via the Campus Sustainability Investment Fund, where an initial pilot test of 60 compost bins was approved. However, with the support of the Housing and Conference Services Office, additional funding was provided to bring the bins to every unit in the Villas. According to the SLURP students' calculations, if students composted up to 2.2 lbs. of compost a week for 35 weeks out of the calendar year, successful use of the compost bins could divert up to 5.25 tons of compostable waste from the landfill annually!
Be on the lookout for the Villas Waste Characterization happening later this year. Participants will be able to see exactly how much of our waste could be going into the recycling or your brand new compost bins, and staying out of the landfill. Kermit the Frog always said “it’s not easy being green,” but for University Villas residents, it just got a whole lot easier.