Kevin Martin pushed back the lid on the giant blue dumpster and stepped aside, letting a handful of students peer at a small mound of lemon rinds, lettuce leaves, broken eggshells, and brown paper bags.
“All of this is generated from the dining hall. It doesn’t come from anywhere else on campus,” said Martin, The Williston Northampton School’s director of dining services.
“Wow! That’s great!” exclaimed one of the students.
The students, members of the school’s Sustainable Life Club, were touring the school’s new compost system, which included the dumpster—a large example of the reduce, reuse, recycle motto they try to embody.
Although school officials have considered composting the waste from the dining hall for several years, it took a final push from these students to make the effort a reality. The new compost bin was installed in early January; on a cold Monday, club members admired the squishy results of their hard work.
The idea of collecting compost on a larger scale first occurred to Nick Pattison ’14 while he was working with the school’s community garden last year. The garden has two compost bins, which garden club members fill with prep scraps from the dining hall.