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Southwestern Unveils Composting Metrics

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Southwestern Unveils Composting Metrics


This February, Southwestern University unveiled a website detailing ongoing composting results from the Mabee Commons, which received a positive commendation from Student Government President Bryce Stiemert at a recent General Assembly meeting. Stiemert advocated for releasing this website to increase the transparency of composting efforts on campus.

The website is powered by Moonshot Compost, a company specializing in compost services waste diversion, and its “diversion dashboard” to track statistics about composting efforts on campus. Currently, the SU site claims the statistics that 2,399 lbs. have been diverted from landfills and also includes metrics of 123 “planted trees,” 1,845 “miles undriven,” and 1,622 “pounds of CO₂ saved.”

These three additional metrics, according to Moonshot, are based on U.S. Environment Protection Agency calculations, which account for 1) the number of greenhouse gasses avoided and converting them into terms of carbon dioxide a tree sequesters in one year, 2) the amount of carbon dioxide generated per mile by a car, and 3) the direct metric of the pounds of CO₂ avoided.

Photo by Carolyn Bray

This release comes after the Student Government Association (SGA) passed the Composting Resolution 20-1 last semester. This resolution served to affirm SGA’s priority of composting at SU and further ensure the administration would see SGA’s willingness to actively participate in composting initiatives on campus, such as the release of the website. Notably, it also came alongside an amendment to the SGA constitution to create the position of SGA Sustainability Chair.

Now, the SGA is considering another sustainability resolution this semester that, if passed, would advocate for using bamboo utensils on campus in pirate dining locations like the Cove. The arguments cited by its supporters include their sturdiness to paper alternatives, biodegradable nature, and being environmentally friendly. As of now, the resolution has been postponed definitely to the next SGA meeting on Mar. 5 as deliberation continues.
The website release also comes as SU President Trombley doubled down in her messaging about the importance of sustainability to students and land development values following the recent 560-Acre Development Open House on Feb. 13. “We…heard that you want more walkability, greenery, and sustainability…the new mixed-use development must reflect Southwestern’s approach to community, sustainability, collaboration, and education…Your engagement in the process and the input you generously shared will be crucial as we shape a master plan that will support a long-term, economically sustainable future.”

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