Recycling and Composting at Smith

2 Mar

Smith College has long term goals to become more environmentally sustainable through the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (SCAMP). A section of the plan that interested me was Waste Management, which involves plans for recycling and composting. Some of the long term composting and recycling goals are to:

Reduce landfill solid waste by 20% (147 tons) by 2015

Compost all pre- and post-consumer food waste produced by Dining Services by 2012

Increase recycling rate to 34% of solid waste by 2015

Increase recycling rate to 50% of solid waste by 2025

Smith has already significantly reduced the amount of solid landfill waste through composting efforts in dining halls. By composting food waste rather than throwing it in the trash, it would reduce the poundage of routine trash that is shipped to Springfield (where Smith’s trash is burned for fuel). We currently recycle 22.6% of solid waste.

I realized after reading the SCAMP that waste management is a small part of Smith’s carbon footprint compared to air travel and boiler systems. Although solid waste only amounts to 1% of Smith’s CO2 emissions, recycling and composting are things that individuals have some control over. By composting and recycling, students can have effect over, which is why composting and recycling are important.  If we can take the time to separate our trash and recycling, Smith may be able to reach our recycling and composting goals.

Check out the SCAMP on the GreenSmith website!

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