Student Successfully Lobbies for Composting Change

kaitlynwelzenThanks in large part to the efforts of the Sodexo sustainability intern at Ripon College Kaitlyn Welzen ’15, and a number of Ripon College faculty and staff members, Ripon College will soon be able to compost a significant percentage of its solid waste, something previously prohibited by city ordinance. After researching the obstacles to composting on campus in the Ripon municipal code, Welzen composed a letter and gathered support and signatures from staff members on campus, including College President Zach Messitte, Sustainability Coordinator Samara Hamzé, and members of the Environmental Health and Safety/Security Committee.

Thanks to their petition for change, Ripon College and other local institutions will be permitted to compost “grass clippings, leaves, herbaceous wastes, raw fruit and vegetable food scraps, chipped tree waste, sawdust, evergreen cones and needles, egg shells, coffee grounds, paper products, or additional materials approved by the city.” Previously this type of composting had been limited solely to areas zoned for residential properties. The amendment passed the Ripon city council by a unanimous vote, 8-0.

Previously, the College did compost dining hall waste, but it had to be driven five miles off-campus to Fraser Farm.

With this change in statute, the composting will now be conducted in a three-bin system at the Environmental Group of Ripon’s (EGOR) garden near the base of the Ceresco Prairie.

Welzen took over as Sodexo’s sustainability intern this fall, and, according to Sarjit Singh, general manager of Sodexo Foods at Ripon College, she has been key to the dining staff’s increased success in recycling efforts with cans, plastic, paper and cardboard. Thanks to this successful petition for expanded composting, Singh said, “We are working next on getting our own herb garden going using our own composting.”

According to Welzen, as the composting program expands, Sodexo will primarily be composting pre-consumer waste such as, “banana peels when they make banana bread, fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds, paper towels, and egg shells.” Eventually, she hopes they will be able to expand the program to allow students to compost post-consumer waste as well.

To learn more about Sustainability at Ripon College, click here.


Related Posts

Kaeley Miller ’24, left, and Alison DeNamur ’25

Student-written papers place in sociological association competition

Jacqueline Clark, professor of sociology and the Helen Swift Neilson Professor of Cultural Studies; Kaeley Miller ’24 of Norway, Michigan; and Alison DeNamur ’25 of […]

Sheet music

Applied music lesson students to present recital Dec. 7

A variety of musical solo and chamber works will be presented in a concert Thursday, Dec. 7, at Ripon College. The recital will begin at […]

Christmas bells on sheet music

Ripon College music ensembles to present Holiday Concert Sunday

All of the music ensembles of the Department of Music at Ripon College will present their annual Holiday Concert Sunday, Dec. 3. Two performances are […]

Peter Loewenstein '24

Peter Loewenstein ’24 to perform guitar recital Dec. 8 at Thrasher Opera House

Peter Loewenstein ’24 of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, will perform a guitar recital Friday, Dec. 8, at the Thrasher Opera House in Green Lake. The recital will […]