During the fall semester of 2020, a student committee dedicated to developing ongoing sustainability efforts began an on-campus compost program. The students who proposed this initiative wanted to reduce waste that would otherwise end up in landfills and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Using 4x4x4-foot wooden boxes with foam insulation, students are able to convert food scraps collected from campus dining areas into compost. Over a three-month period, the boxes break down the contents, including food and paper waste, in an environment that reaches 140° F, resulting in an odorless and pathogen-free compost. Once the process is completed, the compost is used on the campus grounds, in college-managed gardens, and at the nearby James H. Barrow Biological Field Station.
“I had not known much about composting when I came to Hiram last year, but since joining this committee and the compost team I’ve learned a lot about the effects of waste on our planet. It inspired me make changes and to try to invoke change in others. I hope that other students and even faculty can take this opportunity learn about the effects of composting and develop more positive attitudes toward it!”
– Kearan Barnett ‘24