Composting is a Great Idea, But It Needs Implementation

Making utensils, to go containers, cups, and straws out of natural materials that will break down is a great idea, especially on college campuses. However, only if there are enough places throughout campus to dispose of them. The University of Denver has tried to make to go cups for drinks and food containers compostable and has placed compost bins in the dining hall where these are provided. The only problem with this is that, often times, students take their food out this dining hall to eat it and have no compostable container to dispose of it when they are done. When compostable materials are put into a landfill they do not properly compost and still contribute to landfill mass. This use of compostable containers seems a bit counterproductive as there are not many places on campus to dispose of them properly.

I find this specifically problematic when I bring food back to my residence hall. I hope to have a place to dispose of my compostable food box or the cup from my coffee, yet the only bins I have are a black trash bin and a blue recycle bin. There isn’t even a compost on the bottom floor of our building or in the trash room.

Considering the location of DU and the beautiful nature in Colorado, I would suspect many people care about protecting the environment. DU has attempted to utilize compostable products and provided some bins for disposal, including in Nagel Dining Hall, Anderson Academic Commons, and Coors Fitness Center. I applaud their effort thus far but I believe actions needs to go even further. Compost bins should not only be in Dining Halls but in a variety of buildings, especially in Residence Halls. Many students also bring food to class throughout the day, meaning that the most popular classroom buildings that have trash and recycling containers should also have compost containers. I have found myself so many times feeling awful for throwing something in the trash that I know could be better disposed of in the compost, yet I don’t have a compost at home or in a location near me, thus I throw it in the trash.

I believe that DU should take the next step by installing compost bins throughout campus, including outside and inside buildings. I believe that DU could reduce its contribution towards landfills if compost bins were more frequently available. People don’t often think of composting unless it is given to them as an option. Most people will not go out of their way to find a compost. Therefore, I think that if students were provided the option throughout campus, like they are trash and recycling containers, they would more often choose the compost.