Ray Composting: How Much Waste Have We Diverted from Landfills?
by Kaelin Ferland '23 on November 17, 2022
After many years of trying to implement composting on campus, ECOPC was finally able to bring composting to Raymond Dining Hall last spring, and the program has since extended to Alumni over summer. This has had a substantial impact on decreasing our on-campus environmental impact, specifically in the area of food waste. From April 2022 through September 2022, we had already composted about 68.2 tons of food waste in Raymond Dining Hall alone. Since extending the program to Alumni over the summer, 3.3 tons of food in Alumni have been composted instead of being brought to landfills. This number accounts for just the months of August and September, bringing the total to 71.5 tons of food waste that we have diverted from landfills.
This is not a small number. Composting will have a significant positive effect on our planet. This is a huge step in starting to take environmental issues seriously at PC. There is still a lot to be done in terms of sustainability on campus, but we are definitely moving in the right direction. Hopefully this will open the door for even greater and more impactful sustainability projects at PC.
Over one third of food is wasted around the world, and it’s estimated that people waste one billion tons of food annually. This is a huge waste of the water and resources that go into producing this food. Also, with food decomposition in landfills being responsible for up to 10 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions, food waste has devastating consequences in terms of climate change.
With Thanksgiving approaching, it’s important to keep this in mind. However, reducing our food waste is something that we should focus on year-round given its environmental impact.