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Environmental Science and Policy
This study seeks to investigate the possibilities and impacts of expanding Smith College's composting program. Currently at risk of being cut due to lack of funding, the program needs to be economically sustainable as well as ecologically sound to be successful. Through interviews with campus staff at Smith and other colleges (Middlebury), research on how similar colleges' programs operate, and surveying Smith's resources, I determined a practical model for the program to follow. By installing "pulpers" in all kitchens and incorporating the resulting dry food waste into our existing "green"compost site, Smith could expand the program to include all kitchens at a minimal yearly cost. I propose that college apply for a grant from the Massachusetts Division of Solid Waste to fund the initial investment, as this would be the largest obstacle to overcome. If Smith follows the lead of similar colleges by creating a sustainable and productive composting program, it will reduce its waste stream (along with the associated environmental and economic impacts) and set itself apart as an environmental role model for the larger community. The compost program could be used for educational purposes within and beyond Smith, and would increase the environmental awareness of Smith students. Ultimately, the more visible and respected institutions take steps toward becoming environmentally sustainable, the greater will be public awareness and demand for society to be ecologically responsible.
© 2004; Katie Marlowe
Marlowe, Katie, "Composting at Smith: Possibilities for the Future" (2004). Capstone, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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