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The Blue & Gray Press | May 23, 2018

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Letter to the Editor: Virginia laws make composting a challenge

The President’s Council on Sustainability (PCS) would like to thank Emily Little for addressing the topic of food waste. We would also like to educate the campus on our composting efforts, since PCS members and sustainability coordinators have spent a lot of time and energy researching and working to achieve composting on campus for the past three years. We have been working with severe restrictions and liabilities with food waste storage that exist in Virginia. It is not as simple as maintaining a recycling bin; there are Virginia laws as well as health codes that make composting at our university level much more difficult than it would initially appear.

In the past year, with increasing demand for composting in the community, a composting facility opened in northern and southern Virginia. Also, a company that transports food waste extended their services to the Fredericksburg area. In addition to the complications with food waste storage, the legalities surrounding the ability to transport food waste have been major obstacles to implementing composting on campus. As of now, Sodexo is discussing a contract with EPS of Vermont, the hauling company now servicing the Fredericksburg area.

We would also like to use this letter to ask people to think before they pile food on their plates in Seacobeck – keeping your eyes the size of your stomach is the best way to avoid wasting food in the first place.

If you feel strongly about composting please let Kori Dean, Sodexo general manager, (kdean@umw.edu) know how important composting is to this campus! The school and Sodexo both need to know that students are interested in composting, and they won’t know if we don’t tell them! If you have lingering questions, or just want more information, feel free to contact either of us.

Evelyn Hartman and Fariss Hodder are Juniors, members of the PCS and Ecology Club Officers.