The commons’ composting effort

by Stephanie Saccente

Antonio Zaragoza, Photo Editor
Antonio Zaragoza, Photo Editor

In an attempt to advocate a more sustainable campus, Green Love, Aztec Shops and the Enviro-Business Society launched a post-consumer composting pilot program at East Commons earlier this semester. Although the project is still fairly new, the groups involved are hoping the outcome will benefit the campus.

On an average day, approximately 30 to 40 percent of the student body dines at East Commons. While it may seem like the ideal location for a compost bin, the Enviro-Business Society, also known as e3, found it has not been going as planned.

“It has been difficult to get people to dispose of their leftovers in the compost bin,” Patrick Murphy, the vice president of e3, said. “We have discovered that many students finish their meals and therefore do not have leftovers.”

SDSU Physical Plant is also partnering with e3 to bring vermiculture to campus. Vermiculture, the process of using various species of worms for composting, is traditionally used as an organic fertilizer. SDSU Recycling Coordinator Steve Lincoln said he would like to make the landscape on campus more sustainable by completely eliminating pesticides. He wants to use decomposing vegetables and food waste to form a nutrient-rich fertilizer.

According to Associated Students President Cody Barbo, postconsumer composting is an important process because it is possible to take something paltry, such as leftover food, and turn it into something the soil will benefit from. Discussion about whether or not to place bins at East Commons have taken place on multiple occasions. With the marketing aspect headed by Green Love and the internal work from e3 and Aztec Shops, the organizations were able to come together and execute the pilot stage for consumer composting on campus.

According to Barbo, Green Love and e3 would like to develop awareness and a sustainable culture among students on campus.

“This project is similar to the bike lanes installed last school year. When they were first introduced, students did not know how to react, but with this year’s new fall freshman and transfer students, they understand the concept and to stay out of the lanes,” Barbo said. “That’s what we hope to see with the compost bins and with next fall’s students, it will be like second nature for them to use the bins.”

In order to fulfill postconsumer composting to the fullest, e3 has applied for a grant through the California State University system to purchase official composting bins. Any CSU student who has plans for making their campus more sustainable is eligible to apply for this grant.

Students can get involved with the initiative to expand postconsumer compost on campus by spreading the word to their friends and classmates.

“Food has more potential than just going into a landfill,” Murphy said.