New Composting Initiative Launched
Gann recently rolled out a new composting initiative to further promote sustainability on campus and to reduce our ecological footprint. The composting project is spearheaded by Biology Teacher Emily Hart, Jewish Life Fellow Noah Weinberg, and Director of Food Services Steve Smith.
As part of the effort, the Servery has switched from disposable cups, plates, and utensils to compost-approved alternatives, and replaced the cafeteria trash bins with new 64-gallon compost bins. “Students now toss their food scraps and tableware directly into the compost container,” says Hart. “Each week, our partner, Black Earth Compost, comes and replaces the bins with empty ones.”
This initiative is expected to keep more than 6,500 gallons of waste out of the landfill each year.
“We hope to grow this program into a natural part of life at Gann and an expression of the Jewish value of Baal Tashchit (not wasting),” explained Noah Weinberg in an interview with the Shevuon Hatichon student newspaper. “The Torah says people were placed on the earth to both ‘work the land productively’ and to ‘preserve and guard its health’.” For Weinberg, composting is one step towards fulfilling that divine mission.
And it’s not just faculty that is getting involved with this mission. The student-led Environmental Club recently held a Sustainability Leadership session to train student leaders to be advocates for the composting effort and to lay the groundwork to expand composting beyond the cafeteria. “Our plan is to do a pilot project with a new waste station on the second floor,” said Hart, who is also the Environmental Club faculty advisor. “We hope to grow the program with more bins around campus as composting becomes second nature for our community.”