by Kristina Lopienski
Where might you find coffee grounds, potato skins and egg shells mixed with meat, napkins and leftover spaghetti? Typically, beside other garbage in the dump. In fact, for years, this is where Goshen College sent its food waste.
However, in 2010 the college implemented a much better practice by taking something perceived as dirty trash and transforming it into something of value: compost. Beginning with a trial run that received enthusiastic support, the college began composting food waste in the dining hall. It has evolved to become a successful model due to the strong commitment of students and the implementation of a simple composting method.
This system – low-cost and low-tech – works well for a small college serving over 200 mouths per meal in the cafeteria. Goshen College Sustainability Coordinator Glenn Gilbert said, “What I like about this approach to composting is its simplicity and community engagement. Rather than invest in a complicated expensive form of technology that operates in the background, Goshen College has chosen to rely on student involvement, creating a simple system, that is easily replicable almost anywhere.”