SLF Creates Student-accessible Compost

Photo by Rebecca King

This fall, the Sustainable Living Community is opening the doors of a compost receptacle, located behind the Redwood building, to residents outside of the Sustainable Living Facility (SLF) program. College Park Apartment residents, outside of the designated living community can now utilize the compost for personal use. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, compost is an “organic material that can be used as a soil amendment or as a medium to grow plants.”

In other words, feel free to throw your apple from the cafeteria in the dirt instead of throwing it away. It saves energy by not adding waste to a landfill and instead directly dissolves a piece of produce back into the environment naturally.

Brianne Bishop, junior environmental studies major, comments, “More people should compost because the amount of food waste that sits in landfills is disgusting. We could better use these nutrients to strengthen our soil and strengthen our plants. I don’t understand why people don’t compost more.”

With this new opportunity, more people have the ability to utilize the compost behind Redwood.

Bishop, also a community assistant for the CPA SLF program, recently held a program before Thanksgiving on how to compost.

“I brought my compost bucket from my room to the program and printed out information about what should and what should not be composted. I demonstrated how to compost, such as cutting up orange peel and disposing them into the compost,” explains Bishop. “There were CPA residents outside of SLF that attended the event and that’s awesome to see them wanting to get involved. I think opening up the compost to a bigger audience is a good idea because it gives students, not just in SLF, an opportunity to practice sustainability as a lifelong skill.”

Bishop is a campus resource for the Redwood compost and is open to answer any questions regarding it. Her email address is

“I’m eager to start using the compost and keeping a bin in my apartment to learn more about the process, now that it’s open to non-SLF CPA residents,” said sophomore Jackie Keenoy.

However, the compost behind Redwood is not a new development. Students of the CPA SLF habitually use the compost.

“I’ve been composting for a year and a half with the compost outside of Redwood,” explains Trish Goense, a junior environmental science major. “We have a bucket in our apartment in the hall closet specifically for composting that we regularly dump out once a week. We mostly compost produce, and it’s guilt-free, because you’re giving back nutrients into the environment instead of contributing to food waste.”

This is a great opportunity to foster community between roommates as well. It is a learning experience fit for a communal living space.

“Make sure to keep your compost secluded from your kitchen, perhaps in the hall closet,” Goense adds. She warns the compost may be rather smelly to be kept in a common room space in a phase I CPA.

“Plus, there’s fruit flies,” she continued. “Weird things are going to happen, so don’t be shocked, but it’s well worth it to help with sustainable efforts.”