STORY BY JESSICA LYNK
Olmsted got new furniture, a Quad meal comes with one side and there is now a bus that will take students from one side of campus to the other in the wee hours of the night.
But one of the more obvious changes to campus for students may be the bright orange bins sitting in Quad by the garbage.
The bins have left many standing confused, while looking at the posters of items behind it.
The orange bins, composting bins, are an initiative started by Next Course Food Recovery Network and the Drake Environmental Action League to help bring composting to Quad.
The initiative adds to the composting initiative of Hubbell, which has been composting for the past year.
“They had put composting in Quad before, but it was just a massive fail because people were putting garbage in it and when you throw garbage in composting you can’t compost it,” Laura Leben, senior environmental science major and Next Course president, said.
“We wanted to try again and see if, with enough education and enough exposure to it, students could get the hang of it and it would be a real possibility.”
As they began the proposition, students have defaulted to the old ways.
“People are still throwing garbage in it, so we are definitely going to try and push the education as hard as we can with promotion,” Leben said.
Although the initiative has started the same way it did before, with people throwing garbage in the bins, sophomore neuroscience major Sara Hillring is happy with progress.
Hillring, who was a Peer Mentor Academic Consultant, got to see first hand how first years interacted with composting, before upper classmen came to Quad. She believes this plays a role in why the same issue is occurring.
“I think it has been really positive with first year, but the struggle right now is introducing it to sophomores and other people who live off campus that might eat at Quad because they aren’t used to composting in their normal life,” Hillring said.
Hillring is hopeful that this will change.
“As the semester goes on the process will get easier and it will become a part of the Drake culture,” Hillring said. “With any new change, it takes time to get adjusted.”
DEAL and Next Course will start a social media campaign, table toppers and put out represenatives stationed during busy times to make sure students are fully educated about what is compostable.
“Composting is really important because it diverts waste from landfills and we go through quite a bit of food waste in Quad,” Leben said.
“We have the potential to make a huge impact by composting it, which is a natural way to return all the nutrients to the Earth rather than keeping it trapped in a landfill. “