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ASI Sustain U encouraging students to compost

An educational campaign at California State University, Long Beach is encouraging more students to learn about the benefits of composting.

CSULB sustainability committee Sustain U started “Compost Happens” in an effort to educate the university’s students about what things can and can’t be composted.

“Composting is necessary and important because we need to preserve our planet and try to recycle whatever and whenever we can,” senior environmental science major Tiffanie Vu said.

Holli Fajack, the CSULB sustainability coordinator, said that the campus is in the process of creating a zero-waste plan. Fajack said that a zero-waste working group is developing the plan, which will ideally include more compost bins around campus.

Marinella Capa, an Associated Students Inc. sales associate for commercial services, said that ASI will also be looking into putting more compost bins around campus. Capa said that compost bins are currently “around every corner on every level of the USU.”

The Sustain U program was created in 2014 after an audit was conducted in 2012, according to the program’s website.

According to program’s composting page, the audit identified that 50 percent of waste going into the landfill from the University Student Union was food waste and biodegradable material that could have been diverted through composting.

“You can basically put anything biodegradable into a compost bin,” Vu said. “Soiled paper products and your leftover food wastes are things that you can recycle into nutrients for gardens and agriculture. Why waste when you can just turn these items into potential space?”

Composted waste from the University Student Union is picked up and taken to a compost compactor at the USU loading dock and picked up by the waste hauler daily.

The collected material is then brought to a compost facility and processed into nutrient rich compost for agricultural end users, the website said.

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