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Campus composting initiative kicks off environmental week

By Katie Anderson
On April 24, 2013

 

Buffalo State recently made a considerable stride in the effort to become more environmentally
friendly with a new composting initiative on campus just in time for the celebration of Earth Day
and the New York Public Interest Research Group's Environmental Week.
 
Composting on campus began at Campus House as a student initiative. A single student
would take the compost to Community Action Organization on his or her own. Eventually, CAO
reached out to Evergreen at Buffalo State and are now collecting compost from the Caudell food
lab as well as the Campbell Student Union and the grounds department.
 
"Basically, CAO picks up the bins, takes them to their urban farm on Harvard Place, they empty
them out, compost the waste and they use if for their gardens and return the bins back," said
Lauren Bostaph, staff assistant of business services. "So we aren't physically composting on
campus, but we are taking our waste and having it be compost because we are so landlocked
that we don't have a place to do something like that."
 
According to Bostaph, CAO has a large urban farm with several greenhouses that operate year
round. She said the food they grow such as edible flowers, kale and different types of lettuce is
donated to food pantries or sold to local restaurants for nonprofit.
 
The Campbell Student Union was the most recent facility to jump on board with the initiative.
After implementing the composting procedure two weeks ago, Marissa Dinello, director of
marketing for Chartwells, said that the staff of Chartwells is catching on quickly.
 
"We did a lot of signage instructing them as to what they can and can't put in the buckets," she
said. "We showed them where the buckets would be located and basically just went through a
whole training session with them so that there would be no problems rolling it out."
 
Patty Ceravole, coordinator of NYPIRG at Buffalo State, said that NYPIRG has been involved in
spreading awareness on campus about composting.
 
"Incorporating composting on campus will really help us minimize the amount of waste that
we're putting into the landfills and the incinerators," she said. "So, I think it's a fantastic
program."
 
Dinello said that Chartwells was excited to add composting to their dining program.
 
"We try to be green wherever possible, so this is a big thing for us," she said. "We're just glad
that the school has taken this initiative to bring composting to Buffalo State and we're glad that
we could be a part of it."
 
With Earth Day being celebrated Monday, this week NYPIRG hosted many environmental
awareness activities, including a trip to Albany to lobby on environmental issues and an
environmental information fair, which they're partnering with Evergreen for.
 
"We've invited community organizations onto the campus to give some information either about
an environmental issue or about their organization and what they do for the environment," she
said.
 
Some of the organizations participating in the fair include the Western New York Drilling
Defense, which is focused on the issue of hydrofracking, the CAO, CarShare and Go Bike
Buffalo.
 
Katie Anderson can be reached by email at anderson.record@live.com or on Twitter
@katetheskate91

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