Blue Earth Compost Brings Front of House Composting Program to Mather Dining Hall

In the video above, Eleanor Faraguna ’21 teaches the Bantam how to properly compost in Mather Dining Hall. Read more our conversation about the history of the composting program with Joe Barber below, and take a look at the Compost, Trash, Recycle graphics as well.

The front of house composting program is a collaboration between Trinity College’s Office of Sustainability, the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement, and community partners at Blue Earth Compost. Originally we started composting back in Spring of 2015 where we created a partnership between us (the Office of Community Service & Civic Engagement), Chartwells, and KNOX, Inc.’s community gardens. We were taking foods craps from the back of the house twice a week over to the compost piles at KNOX. We did this for about 3 years through Spring 2018, and then students in Green Campus were really advocating to take this to the next level because we knew we had reached capacity.

For three years we were doing this out of our minivan— having people people put bins of food scraps in the minivan twice a week to take over to KNOX. It was something, but it wasn’t enough. We knew we needed to make ourselves more sustainable, so we started doing some research. Bailey D’Antonio ‘18 was a driving force on this. She did a bunch of research with Facilities to figure out the costs of dumpster pickups at Chartwells and how much it costs to dump that at the landfill, etc. At the same time, she was doing a cost analysis with Blue Earth Compost to see if we could work together to make a cost sustainable program where we could at least break even. She presented her research to the Sustainability Committee, and then started meetings with Blue Earth Compost to talk about what it would take to implement the program. Then, in Fall 2018 Trinity College hired Sustainability Coordinator Rose Rodriguez who stepped in to take the lead on the program. Rose’s first step was starting out with composting for all back of house operations in Fall of 2018, with the intention of doing full back of house and front of house composting by Spring 2019, which is where we are now.

One of the pieces Rose has been working on in the front of the house is educating the Trinity community on how to use the compost bins avoid contamination with non-compostable materials. During the first few weeks of the Spring 2019 semester, Rose, the Office of Community Service & Civic Engagement, and student volunteers from Green Campus and beyond worked by the compost bins to instruct people on what to compost and what to trash. Check out the informational materials below and check in with Rose, Joe Barber, or Green Campus if you have any questions.

To learn more about the composting program, see Trinity College’s Office of Sustainability website here, view Trinity College’s Sustainability Instagram Highlight, or contact