Geography staff member Katie Maynard, the UCSB Sustainability Coordinator, has brought recycling in Ellison Hall to a new level—there is now a composting bin in the Staff Kitchen in the Main office. While the Department of Geography has always been conscientious about recycling paper, plastics, glass, and metal, the office also now has AA rechargeable batteries available for use, a battery recharger, a battery recycling bin for turning in dead old batteries, and a plastic bag recycling container.
Needless to say, the compost bin has created the most attention. According to Katie, “the compost bin is part of a pilot project to see how composting might work in Ellison Hall and will be up throughout the month. If it is successful, we will try and get other departments on board and compost in all the kitchens in Ellison Hall. The composting will be taken to Associated Students Recycling and fed to their worms in a process called vermicomposting. In order to keep the worms happy and eliminate any risk of smell, we ask that you do NOT throw meat, fats and deep-fried foods, or dairy into the compost. Vegetable and/or fruit waste, bread (without mayo), and coffee grounds and/or tea bags are great! We also have a carbon filter on the top to reduce smell and will be emptying out the compost every other day.” At least the staff’s pet rubber rat (“Cagney”) seems to approve!