Lucas Isakowitz ’20 M.E.M.
and the rest of the committee — a group of students dedicated to improving sustainability and wellness at F&ES — sifted through three days’ worth of waste collected in Kroon Hall, and found that roughly 39 percent of the weight was attributed to biodegradable materials. The data collected compelled the committee to move forward with composting with the support of their Yale partners, which Isakowitz said will go a long way in reducing solid waste at the school.
“I’m fascinated by how we can effectively communicate environmental issues to create some behavioral or political change, and I think our committee does that at a microlevel here at F&ES,” Isakowitz said. “We look at these environmental problems that we are facing and try to pinpoint small solutions to see what works for our school community.”
The reduction of waste at F&ES will also give the school a head-start on Yale’s Pay-As-You-Throw program, which began a five-month pilot program in January
. The program, the first of its kind at a U.S. university, will provide financial incentives for reducing waste across the Yale campus.
For now, Smiley Smith said, the key is promoting the proper use of composting at F&ES and the importance of avoiding contamination. Isakowitz and the ESC will perform an additional waste audit by the end of the semester to see how the program is progressing.
“The success of this program relies on the work of our community to be mindful about their waste management,” said Smiley Smith. “We’ve worked so hard to bring reliable composting to Kroon and built some great partnerships along the way, so I feel confident that we are ready to handle this responsibility as a community.”