With spring semester now in full swing, students have busier schedules and thus, grab more cups of coffee on-the-go. Because compostable cups are not always properly composted outside of the dining halls, the Williams Environmental Council (WEC) reinitiated the compostable cup program in Sawyer and Schow libraries.
The project was originally started by the Ghana Think Tank’s collaboration with WCMA last year. The international collective is known for collecting problems in the U.S. through videos and sending them to citizens in “developing countries” where they help provide ideas for solutions to that particular problem. The compostable cup program is entirely student-run, meaning the compost bins were built and are emptied by students. “The focus [was] on the library [because] it’s a high foot-traffic area, with a lot of students coming from the dining halls,” explained Elizabeth Bigham ’21, on why members of WEC decided to place the compost bins in both libraries again this year. She and other students spent the fall semester organizing for the project’s relaunch and placed the bins in the front of Sawyer and near the first set of carrels near the front of Schow at the start of the spring semester.
Though the program’s relaunch is still somewhat new, it seems as though students are making an effort to compost their to-go coffee cups in the proper bins. Another WEC member, Marshall Borrus ’20 said, “Based on what the students who empty the bins say, it seems that a lot of people are using the bins, which is fantastic! They are checked every day and are emptied relatively frequently.”
When asked what other people at Williams think about the program, Bigham said, “Although I have not personally heard anyone talk about the bins, there does seem to be some excitement around more composting at Williams. It seems like a lot of students care about our waste here, and this project helps put Williams College in the right direction towards less waste.”
Rio Salazar ’20 is the communications intern at the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives.