Implement Composting Bins in All UT Austin Dorms
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UT Austin is currently undergoing a campus-wide zero waste effort. A lot of progress has been made thus far, with many available zero waste opportunities and perhaps most noticeably, recycling bins in every dorm. However, there still exists one obstacle that can be fixed: that of composting.
College students, like most Americans in general, waste a lot of food. About 22 million pounds of food waste originate from U.S. colleges, according to estimates by the Food Recovery Network. A great way to reduce the amount of food wasted, in addition to other benefits such as reduced methane emissions and improved soil quality, is through composting. Unfortunately not many students know about this process. While there is some composting being done on campus, many students are unaware of how (if even possible) to get involved in composting. There is very little information regarding compost efforts here at UT, at least based on my experience and preliminary web searches. There is also the issue of accessibility, as there exists very few places to dispose of food and food scraps. Many college students are either too lazy or too busy to have to go out and find somewhere to dispose of their food, opting to just throw it in their bin located in their own dorms. This just serves to further increase the problem.
I propose that UT implements composting opportunities and increases accessibility for students. There already exists designated areas to throw away landfill trash and recyclables, adding a simple container for food scraps will do a considerable job at reducing food waste. There could also be a third bin in student dorms dedicated for food waste. At the very least, a bin for food waste in every kitchen would be of great help. The best change however is to require each building housing students to keep and maintain an actual composting bin, encouraging students to participate in its maintenance. This will help to further progress the zero waste effort and to provide learning opportunities for students who care about the environment.
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