Clark Composts!, an innovative compost collection program under way in Clark University student residence halls, was recognized as “Best Student Effort” in MassRecycle’s 18th annual state-wide competition, receiving the award on Nov. 6 at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester.
From its beginning as a student-designed pilot in 2011, Clark Composts! has evolved into an institutionally-supported practice with collaboration from Residential Life and Housing (RLH), Physical Plant, Recycling Crew, Clark Sustainability Collaborative, Student Sustainability Fund, Clark Eco Reps and Sustainable Clark. Clark Composts! now collects and diverts compostable materials in three residential halls (Johnson-Sanford, Wright and Dodd), and intends to expand strategically as it continues to reduce Clark’s environmental impact and reduces costs.
"Clark Composts! is a prime example of the collaborative, innovative response that Clark University students bring to campus challenges." ~ Jenny Isler, Sustainability Coordinator
It’s a cross-campus collaborative effort that has enabled composting in our freshman residential halls,” said Jenny Isler, Sustainability Coordinator at Clark University. “Very few colleges are even attempting to compost in dorms and we are well ahead of the curve here at Clark with this well-managed and successful program that promises to be a campus norm as it expands ‘organically’.”
The award was accepted by Kerry Burke ’15, who acknowledged all those who collaborate with the Clark Composts! program. Clark Composts! was nominated for this year’s award by Recycling Captain Allen Roth ’14 and Sustainable Clark’s Rachel Sorenson ’13. RLH Director Kevin Forti posted a video of the Clark team receiving their award. Watch the video here: https://www.facebook.com/ClarkRLH/
“Clark University's dedication to sustainability is demonstrated in our commitment to educate students to be responsible citizens of the world,” Isler said. “An important aspect of our research and leadership is to monitor our own environmental impact and explore ways in which we can improve campus sustainability and serve as a living laboratory to create a better future. Clark Composts! is a prime example of the collaborative, innovative response that Clark University students bring to campus challenges.”
For more information on composting or sustainability, please visit the Sustainable Clark website: http://www.clarku.edu/offices/campussustainability/
Clark University’s sustainability efforts have won the state’s MassRecycle honors before, placing high among Massachusetts colleges and universities for innovative and successful recycling and waste management programs. In 2011, Clark was awarded the 'Green Binnie' for its effective composting program in Dining Services, averaging 200 tons of waste diverted to compost per year. In 2012, the University placed third in the state behind Harvard and Tufts Universities when MassRecycle recognized Clark for its student Recycling Crew and their collaborative efforts with Physical Plant, the Community Thrift Store, students, staff and Sustainable Clark to increase recycling and decrease waste: in 2012 Clark's recycling rate topped 30 percent and its diversion rate was 50 percent, while the University's waste to energy volume decreased by 50 tons. Related link: EPA honors Clark University for food waste recycling efforts