Expanded Compost Locations - Made Possible by a Small Business that *Is Not* Run by a Toddler

Starting in December, you will see additional compost collection bins located around campus. This expansion is made possible by Tommy’s Compost Service, a new compost hauler that is working with the college. Tommy’s is a small business owned by Mary Stucklen, who began working with Goodrich Coffee Bar in September. You might be wondering: If Tommy’s is run by Mary, then who is Tommy? As you can see here, Tommy is just a toddler, but is also the reason behind Mary’s mission for Tommy’s Compost. Since 2021, Mary has worked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support local food systems, and create a more sustainable future for Tommy (and for us all) by helping homes and businesses to compost their food waste. Mary is very excited to work with Williams College. “My goal is to compost one million pounds of food and organic waste by the end of 2024,” she explained. “Through collaboration with Williams, we will be able to introduce more compost options to the campus, divert a majority of food waste and compostable products to local farms, and create a very measurable impact over the next year. It is the Williams community’s dedication to composting that will not only improve the campus’s sustainability efforts, but also help me to achieve my hefty goal. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve you, the Williams Community, and am very excited to work with you in the many months to come.”

Starting December 1st, compost bins will be added to the following strategic locations around campus including high traffic locations, complementing compost collection that currently happens in these main dining area (Paresky, Mission, Driscoll, and Faculty House):

-Outside of Sage
-Outside of Garfield House
-Sawyer Library, main foyer
-In front of the Envi Center
-Fort Bradshaw
-Eco Cafe
-CDE dining
-In the Davis Center’s kitchen, when that project is completed

Tommy’s Compost is working closely with Facilities, Dining, and the Zilkha Center to identify locations, optimize the frequency of pick ups, and keep the lines of communication open to make adjustments to our compost program as necessary. You’ll see Mary and her team around campus in their truck picking up food waste and compostables before delivering it to local farms including Holiday Brook Farm and Meadow Farm. These farms will turn our food waste and compostables into nutrient-rich soil, commonly known as compost, and use it to grow local food and other crops. In order to streamline our compost efforts and ensure success, Tommy’s online platform will provide the college with detailed data about each pickup location, which will enable staff to adjust compost bin locations based on frequency of use and demand, as well as to identify areas of improvement. Tommy’s is also working with our community to offer compost trainings and workshops, one of which will be organized by the ZC EcoReps (Happening December 1st at 5pm – mark your calendar for “scrappy” cooking and a presentation from Mary!). Tommy’s will also create a couple of Williams-specific Youtube videos for folks who can’t attend a workshop/training.

How do I know what to compost?
“Food Yes, Plastic No; When in doubt, throw it out;and don’t be afraid to pause and read the signs!” are a few of Mary’s favorite tips.

If you’re interested in attending a workshop or having your group attend a training led by our compost lady herself, simply complete this form, linked here.

Here’s a quick list of Compostable Items. As a reminder, the full list can be found here.

  • All food waste
  • To-go containers, cups, straws, and utensils that you find in the dining halls are all compostable
  • Napkins

Items that contaminate the compost bins include:

  • Any and All Plastic, Glass, and Metal
  • Chip Bags, Yogurt Cups, Cream Cheese Containers, and Sauce Packets
  • And remember: When in doubt, throw it out!

Mike Evans, Deputy Director