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Composting on Campus:

Reuse Your Waste in a Sustainable Place


2020 Project Proposal

Maci Mullins, Riley Blankenship, David Jones


Environmental Sustainability (SUST2100)
Dr. Tait Chirenje
Stockton University
Fall 2017

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Table of Contents

Abstract ...3

Statement of Need ...3

Project Rationale .4

Proposal Narrative:

I. Goals ...5

II. Action Plan ..............................................................................................................5

III. Timeline ..................................................................................................................5

IV. Assessment Methods ...6

V. Budget .7

Conclusion ...8

Appendix .9

Work Cited 12

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Abstract
The purpose of this proposal is to incorporate compost waste into the residential life of
Stockton University. The university is well known for the involvement of sustainable practices
on campus, so the plan is to enhance the practices one step further. The idea is to broaden the
sustainability policies and procedures by incorporating composting into the daily routine of
residential life. After the residential composting shows signs of success, the idea of Stocktons
future is to involve all food vendors on the universitys campus as well. Composting waste will
not only create a greener campus, but the collected compost will also serve a purpose on the
Stockton Farm. In addition, it will act as an educational tool to both introduce students to the
concept of composting as well as developing a habit of separating waste. Once the compost is
collected in dorm rooms and apartments, it will be transferred to a separate outdoor bin like
general waste and recyclables are. The compost bins in the apartments and dorms will contain a
biodegradable trash bag to make cleanup easier. A paid position will be created for a student to
transport the compost waste as needed (weekly) to the Stockton Farm. The compost will be used
to grow crops on the farm that later provide nutrients on campus. This will create a continuous
cycle of compost waste to farm, from farm to table, back to compost again. This is a notable
example of a negative feedback loop for the environment. Success of enforcing composted waste
of residential life, and eventually all food vendors, on Stockton Universitys campus will open
the doors for future campus wide sustainability practices.

Statement of Need
Composting is ranked at the fifth tier of the EPAs Food Recovery Hierarchy.
Composting consists of the inedible leftovers of waste. This waste can then be turned into
compost to provide the nutrients needed in soils for agricultural purposes. Through composting,
the amount of methane emissions can be highly reduced due to the decrease of organic waste in
landfills. Compost can also lower the chemical fertilizers used on farmlands, which results in less
amounts of other ozone and environmentally harming gases. There are countless benefits to
composting organic materials, Stockton would be doing the campus and environment a huge
favor by implementing compost policies. (Reducing the Impact of Wasted Food, EPA.)

Organic materials (paper, food waste, yard trimmings etc.) are held accountable for the
largest category of municipal solid waste. In 2013, recycling and composting prevented 87.2
million tons of waste from being discarded. Recycling and composting have an immense amount

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of positive environmental impact. Recycling is already an active policy on campus, composting
is what we need to enforce. The prevention of improper disposal of organic waste in 2013 saved
the planet from nearly 186 million metric tons of the harmful chemical carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere. (Resource Conservation, EPA.)
According to Princeton Review, Stockton University has been named one of the best
Northeastern Colleges and Green Colleges in the upcoming list for the year of 2018. With that
being said, the university should be enforcing as many sustainable policies and procedures as
possible. Composting organic material is one simple step to demonstrate the campuses
understanding of sustainability through engagement with residential life. Improper disposal of
organic materials does not represent a green community. Stockton University needs to make
this unpretentious adjustment to incorporate composting on campus to fulfill the title of a Green
College.

Project Rationale
Composting on Stocktons campus can benefit the university in a variety of ways. The
gathering of compost materials will greatly reduce the amount of waste being transferred to
landfills, which ultimately results in less CH that is released into the atmosphere. Compost
material can also be used as co-soil to enhance plant growth. Increased plant growth means
decreased CO in our atmosphere as well. The compost material from campus would be
transported to the Stockton Farm for this exact use. There would be less of a need for chemically
harmful fertilizers for growth on the farm if the residential life were able to provide sufficient
amount of composted waste. With little to no need to seek organic compost from outside parties,
the universitys expenses may also be impacted positively. Furthermore, the system could be
used for educational and research purposes alongside sustainability and biology courses at
Stockton.

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Proposal Narrative
Goals: Our main goals are to reduce the overall waste sent to landfills, provide the farm
with organic nutrients that can be used to grow veggies and other plants, and provide an
educational model for students to learn from.

Action Plan: After speaking with Mr. James Timothy, assistant director of residential
life, we plan to specifically focus on housing 1 and 4 to target potentially higher quality compost
due to the kitchens in each apartment. Each building will contain a small compost bin with a
trash bag. Bags will be collected by the custodians along with standard waste and placed in a
compost can behind the housing units. Mr. Timothy assured us he could manage spreading
awareness and education throughout the housing units to help students understand what is and
isnt compostable. In addition, Swarthmore College granted us permission to use their graphics
and materials on our campus to aid in our compost plan. We also plan on making all bins and
cans associated with the compost program brown to make them easy to spot and differentiate
from the trash and recycling. A paid student position will be created to transfer the compost from
the can to the farm, where the bags will be cut open and discarded allowing the compost to break
down.

Timeline: After approval, the composting plan can be fully implemented within one
semester. To start, a bin for each floor of Housing 1 and 4 would have to be purchased to create a
location to collect compost. Also, larger cans are needed outside in the trash enclosures.
Educational signs will be printed and hung, with help from residential life, to explain what can be
composted and how it helps the campus and environment. An example of a poster can be seen in
the Appendix (Figure 3). A student would also have to be hired to move compost from the
residential areas to the farm. Once the materials are in place, the routine would be that students
dispose of compostable material into the bin in their building. From there, the custodial staff
would collect this bag and move it outside to the can in the trash enclosure like they do with
other wastes. Weekly, the hired student would collect the large compost cans from the trash
enclosures and move them to the farm. The compost would be weighed each time at the farm
using preexisting equipment to help track progress. The bags would be emptied into the compost
piles on the farm and the cans returned to the residential areas to be refilled. After each semester,
a survey would be administered to the residents to gauge student involvement in the projects.
Also, compost weight totals would be determined and reported. After the pilot in housing 1 and

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4, if it is successful, then composting could be expanded to other areas of the campus like the
other housing facilities and the campus center (focusing on food vendors).

Assessment Methods: To measure the level of success or failure of the composting


program, the amount of waste being transferred to the Stockton farm would be weighed and
recorded after each delivery. As time progresses, the expectation is that the amount of compost
waste will increase. A second tool for gauging the program's success would be to evaluate the
amount of student involvement via survey to residential students after each semester. A simple
yes or no question, like that in Figure 1, would suffice.

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Budget:
Upfront Cost

Item Price Quantity Total

$8-12 24 $192 - $228

10.2 Gallon Bins

$109 6 $654

55 Gallon Can

$34/week 32 weeks $1,088


Paid Student Position (4 hours (16/semester)
(Offered as a yearly position per week at
covering both semesters) $8.50/hr)

Total: $1,934 - $1,970

*Paid student position duties include: gathering disposed compost waste bags weekly from
gallon bins in residential area trash enclosures and transporting to the Stockton Farm via
personal vehicle*

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Conclusion

It is with great hope that Stockton University will enforce the composting program onto
the residential life on campus. Not only will the Stockton farm benefit through the amount of
compost waste being provided for plant growth, but the students involved will benefit as well.
Increased knowledge of sustainability, and the good that can be done due to simply composting
food waste and other paper scraps, can make all the difference on our green campus. Sustainable
practices are the key factors to a brighter future, which should become a part of everyones daily
routine. Composting is just one small step that will increase Stocktons level of greenness and
level of greatness. Lets make this difference on Stocktons campus now to create an even more
significant difference for the future, our environment depends on it.

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Appendix

Figure 1: Shown above is a survey conducted among about 120 students, asking if they would
consider participating in composting on campus.

Figure 2: This figure displays the results of the conducted survey shown in Figure 1. The results
show that more students would participate in composting on campus than not.

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Figure 3: Pictured above is the approval from Swarthmore College to allow us use of their
compost sign. The flyer created by David, shown above, would be displayed all throughout
Stockton Universitys campus to bring knowledge and awareness to students interested in the
compost program.

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Figure 4: This figure shows the email between us and the director of residential life at Stockton
University, Mr. Steven Radwanski, expressing his interest in our proposal. Due to scheduling
conflict, Mr. Radwanski referred us to meet with Mr. Brian Pluchino, assistant director of
facilities & student retention at Stockton University.

Figure 5: Shown here is the email agreeing on a time and date to meet to discuss the proposal.
Mr. Brian Pluchino was unable to meet with the group, so he forwarded our idea and
information to James Timothy, the assistant director of residential life at Stockton University,
who met with us on November 7th.

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Work Cited:

Stockton in Top 10 Public Regional Universities Ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
Retrieved November 12, 2017, from https://stockton.edu/news/2017/us-news-2018-top-
10.html
Municipal Solid Waste: Resource Conservation. 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2017,
from https://archive.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/web/html/
Reducing the Impact of Wasted Food. Retrieved November 12, 2017, from
https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/reducing-impact-wasted-
foodfeeding-soil-and-composting
Photos & Pricing of Gallon Bins. Retrieved November 15, 2017, from
https://www.uline.com/BL_8793/Office-Recycling-Containers
Photos & Pricing of Gallon Cans. Retrieved November 15, 2017, from
https://www.uline.com/BL_8796/Recycling-Can-with-Wheels

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