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‘Together we go further’

On a mission: Revitalizing composting at Grenfell Campus

special feature: Energy

Energy: A special feature examining Memorial University’s impact on resource management, human energy, social power, energy and society.

By Pamela Gill

The discontinuation of Grenfell Campus’s industrial-grade composter didn’t stop a determined team from continuing the important waste management practice.

The innovative vigor of a group of graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and staff initially resulted in the recent implementation of two large tumbler composters in the past six months. They will meet the growing composting needs of those living and working on campus.

From left, students Sien Van den broeke and Sophie Le Noble with one of the Grenfell Campus composters.
Photo: Submitted

Resources for the project were sourced through grants from the Student Innovation Fund, as well as from some creative fundraising.

For instance, money raised through collecting recyclables on campus goes toward the Green Grenfell Fund — a fund anyone in Corner Brook and the surrounding area can direct their own recyclable refunds into.

Three composters

Last month the group, officially known as the Waste Management Committee, held an official launch of the third addition to the composting garden, a large wooden box backyard composter.

“The home-built, backyard composter was built with the hands of dedicated students,” said Sien Van den broeke, who spoke at a launch event.

“Dedicated to fight the battle against food waste, as organics make up 40 per cent of the campus’s waste. Dedicated to advance food security on campus, as fruits and vegetables will be grown with the soil produced. Dedicated to combat climate change, as composting accounts for a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.”

The tumbler composters serve the needs of the students residing in the chalet apartments, while the larger box composter is available for residence students and the general Grenfell community.

“We have diverted more than 150 kilograms of food waste from the landfill.” — Sien Van den broeke

A team of eco-volunteers is tasked with picking up the food waste collected in the kitchen bins in residence.

“It is through the joint efforts of our team that we can proudly say that to date, we have diverted more than 150 kilograms of food waste from the landfill, and we are proudly awaiting our first load of fresh soil to start planting our own fruits and vegetables in the community garden this summer,” said Ms. Van den broeke.

Next steps

The group’s work is not over yet, however: the committee is turning its attention to future projects, such as bolstering the recycling program. This will include ensuring proper bins are provided throughout student housing and a regular collection schedule is carried out.

In addition, the committee hopes to expand the recycling program in residence to include paper collection.

“We are looking forward to putting Grenfell in a leadership position that paves the way for Corner Brook to follow our example,” said Ms. Van den broeke.

“Together we go further, and our joint efforts will achieve this greener, and better, future we envision for our campus and Corner Brook.”

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