Campus Life

Students' Union looking to go green on campus

The University of Lethbridge Students' Union is taking steps to make the campus a little more green.

Since fall 2010, ULSU Food Court vendors and the Zoo have been participating in a composting initiative brought together by some dedicated students, the ULSU Executive and General Assembly members. The composting initiative has now branched out to include Coulee Junction (CJ's), Fresh Express, Mr. Sub and Tim Hortons.

Composting is a natural process of recycling uncooked fruit and vegetable waste, coffee grinds and tea bags into a rich soil or fertilizer known as compost.

"Composting can be done in a number of different ways and serves as a great way to reduce your contribution to the waste stream by recycling yard and kitchen waste," says Taz Kassam, ULSU president. "It also provides a value added benefit to our land and can act as an aid in gardens, landscaping, horticulture and agriculture.

Vendors currently dispose their compostable waste in personal compost bins in the Students' Union building and University caretaking staff transport the compost to the boneyard – an open compost pile on the south end of campus. The grounds department then uses the finished product for various projects around campus.

"The University needs a composting program because it is a fairly simple, yet extremely effective way at reducing the amount of waste we produce," says Zack Moline, ULSU General Assembly member and compost co-ordinator. "It feels good to think that most of the food waste produced at the University of Lethbridge, which used to rot in the landfill, is now being recycled and used for constructive purposes around campus."

This program is about to start a trial phase that will also include on-campus residences. The Piikani residence building in Aperture Park will have 48 personal compost bins placed in its suites.

"Getting students engaged in the composting program will be difficult, but will nonetheless be of vital importance," says Moline. "On the campus-wide scale, it will happen through an active marketing campaign with the ULSU, promoting the ease and benefits of composting."

The ULSU believes that with proper promotion, education and efficient management of the program, this trial phase can be expanded into the remaining buildings in Aperture Park.

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