Composting remains top priority for Mac

January 26, 2012
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

Farzeen Foda

Senior News Editor

Environmental issues have come to the forefront in every way, and McMaster University is no stranger to the trend.

Over the past few years, the sustainability movement has led to positive change around campus. To top off the efforts, the Sustainability Office at McMaster, in collaboration with the McMaster Students Union (MSU) and the McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC), has implemented a compost system in the Student Centre as part of a pilot project to promote composting campus-wide.

“Composting has been a priority on campus over the past few years,” said Katie Ferguson, MSU VP (Administration), who has been working in collaboration with McMaster’s Office of Sustainability to bring composting goals to fruition.

The push for campus-wide composting began in 2009, noted Ferguson. Since then, numerous campus eateries have implemented composting in their kitchens.

More recently, there has been considerable demand on behalf of students to create a composting service available to them and MACgreen has also been vigilant in promoting the initiative.

Currently, Mary E. Keyes’ East Meets West Bistro, Bridges Café, TwelvEighty, Union Market, La Piazza, The Phoenix and the Communications Research Laboratory have implemented composting in their kitchens.

To make the eco-friendly option available to students, the first compost bin was set up early last week in front of Union Market as part of the pilot project. If successful, it may be implemented throughout the Student Centre. The project is in its preliminary phase at this time, and is in effect in the Student Centre only at this time as, “it’s an easy place to start with,” said Ferguson, explaining the need to begin on a small scale as composting can be a difficult initiative if not implemented effectively.

If not handled responsibly, especially in a busy place like the Student Centre, a stench of organic waste could be uncomfortable and harmful. To ensure that such an outcome does not become a reality, it was decided that the compost effort begin as a smaller pilot project prior to widespread implementation.

She further explained that the hope is to get offices across campus composting as well, all while working to “educate faculty and staff on what can and cannot be composted.” The MSU office will soon begin composting organic waste.

Additionally, with a growing number of students commuting to McMaster daily and the cost of parking on campus remaining exorbitantly high, carpooling is not only smart alternative, but also one that Sustainability at McMaster is trying to promote.

Students can register their carpool arrangement by Feb. 3 with Sustainability at McMaster, receive free parking for the week of Feb. 6 and enter to win an Apple iPad 2, funded by McMaster Security and Parking Services.


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