Two students designed a new composting station installed in District House last month to promote sustainability on campus. Caylee Chan, a senior majoring in environmental sustainability science and public health, and Hannah Silber, a 2023 public health alum, added a compost bin that features pictures of compostable items, also known as a shadow bin, so students know what can be thrown out in January.

The addition of the bin to the dining area was part of the Undergraduate Sustainability Research Fellows program and, in combination with the current back-of-house compost bins, expands the sustainability effort in the dining halls.

Chan said she and Silber audited the materials District House used to serve food in fall 2022. While they found most of the materials were compostable, there were no student-facing compost bins available in the residence hall basement. “We started to make a shadow box, and we did some research on some other universities that have sustainability programs in their dining halls, and we saw that they also use shadow boxes,” Silber said. “So we made this prototype that’s now in District.”

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Image: Arwen Clemans, The GW Hatchet