A Word From Your Compost

AUNE - Word From Your Compost

Hello to all of my loyal followers and new readers alike. My name is A.N.N.E., the voice of AUNE’s compost pile.
‘A Word From Your Compost’ is a periodic newsletter put out by the Solid Waste Coordinator to update the AUNE community about our efforts to improve the efficiency of and education about the solid waste stream here on campus and to inform people about ways to get involved.

July 2010

Thanks to your efforts, throughout July alone we have composted 351 pounds of food and paper. That’s an 88% increase from last July’s compost collection! Remember, the more you compost, the less we truck to the Keene Transfer Station (and then on to the Claremont incinerator). But please, compost only food and paper; things that are not designated as compostable are likely to be detrimental to our compost process. Also, put food only in the food bins, and paper only in the paper bins. Otherwise, our data could be skewed. Thank you.

Paper continues to increase in percentage, making up more and more of the compost. This month it totaled 19.7% of the total compost. Speaking of compostables, Donna’s

café is now sporting more compostable ware. This includes spoons, forks, knives, bowls, cold-beverage cups, and plates. Be sure to compost all of them.

With this issue, we bid farewell to Jake Richards, the Upward Bound student and Swanzey resident who has been doing a terrific job of helping our composting program stay on track this summer. THANK YOU, Jake! In a few weeks, we’ll be welcoming Alissa Novoselick, an incoming Green MBA student, as AUNE’s new Solid Waste Coordinator. In the interim, we’re suspending our compost collection during these dates: August 5-20.

We’ll be back in action on opening day!

May/June 2010

Hello friends of the compost! Even though there are fewer people on campus, we are still composting a lot of food waste. The worms in our bins are happy because they have lots to eat. Between May and June we composted 535lbs of food and paper.

You may have noticed the green bins outside all of the bathrooms. Those are for paper towels and they go straight to the compost. With the addition of compostable ware at Donna’s and all of the paper towels, paper is becoming an increasing percentage of our waste. Since April 2010, paper has become 14.6% by weight of what we’re composting. That compares with 5.5% overall since we starting weighing in November 2008.

At the start of May, we moved some of the compost onto the garden, and all of those wonderful nutrients are helping to grow some wonderful vegetables. The produce from the garden is going to Donna’s and to the Community Kitchen in Keene. In fact, there are so many nutrients (and seeds) in our compost, that one of the piles has several squash plants growing out of it!

Thank you as always for all of your hard work getting everything into the compost bins. Without all of you, there would be nothing to feed the piles. Happy summer, and keep up the great work! This will be the last word from the compost from my caretaker Sarah Sullivan, as a new solid waste coordinator will be taking over in the fall. Jake, an Upward Bound student at Keene State, will be taking care of the compost for the rest of the summer.

April 2010

The compost total for April is 415 lbs! That makes April the 6th month in a row to have more compost than the previous month, and more than the same month last year. Thanks again to all of you who go the extra step to put things in the compost bin. It really does make a difference.

We had an incredible amount of paper in the compost this month from the combination of paper towels, Donna’s new compostables and compostable food ware from events on campus. The overall paper percentage since we started measuring (November ’08) is 4%. However paper was 10% of the total weight in the month of April! Soon there will be more bins for paper towels, so please keep your eyes open for the change. Currently, paper towels go ONLY into the two grey bins that say “Compostable Ware” (one in each lobby), but this will change soon.

Check out the monthly weight totals (in pounds) below!

March 2010

Welcome to spring time! The flowers are blooming, and my piles are heating up. We had 321lbs of compost in March, making this the 4th month in a row with MORE compost than the previous month!

We have two very exciting things to report this month.

The first is that we are now able to compost our 100% recycled paper towels! If you use a paper towel to dry your hands, you can put it in the big grey compost bin OUTSIDE the bathrooms on the first & second-floor lobby areas by the blue resource recovery station and it will be composted.

The second is that Donna’s is transitioning to compostable ware! Currently, the plates, bowls and knives are compostable. Soon she will transition everything over, so stay tuned for more information. These can also go in the big grey compost bin by the blue resource recovery station and they will be composted.(These large grey bins are also available for use at meetings and other events on campus at which compostable ware is used.)

These are both big steps toward our waste reduction goals, and we would love you to be part of the effort. Keep you eyes open for signs at Donna’s and by the paper towel dispensers, and tell you friends!

Our work in solid waste has been so successful due to all of you. Please spread the word about these exciting changes. Without your help, our compostable items won’t find their way to the compost, so keep up all the good work!

February 2010

Hello, Everyone! I wanted to update you on my wonderful piles. We had 288 pounds of compost in February. This is the 6th month in a row that more than 230 pounds have been added to my piles! That means that since the start of the school year (September 2009) I have consumed close to 2,000 lbs of food and paper waste that otherwise would have gone to the landfill. What an achievement!

In fact, there is so much food waste going to my piles that my caretaker is planning to expand my fleet of bins! If you’re interested in learning more about compost, or have advice to give about bin types, please contact Sarah Sullivan on FirstClass.

There has been a second compostable wares bin added to the Resource Recovery Station on the second floor. It is for pizza boxes, compostable ware plates, bowls, cups and utensils. If you have any questions about what can go in the compostable ware bins, please contact Sarah Sullivan for more information.

You might notice a few changes soon in the signs around the Resource Recovery Stations, which will be designed to make it easier for you to use all the bins we have. We also are looking into increasing WHAT we can compost, so keep your eyes open for that announcement.

Again, thank you to everyone who continues to compost, and also thank you to our newest volunteer ; Leigh Reynolds ; who has been a great help in taking care of our compost system!