Sunday, May 2, 2010

Letter to Admin re: Composting

Sent April 29, 2010

Hi Greg and Michael:

Green Coalition would like to begin this email by thanking the Sustainability Council so much for all of your efforts this year with all of the projects we've collaborated with you on. We couldn't have done it without you! We wanted to write you an email, though, because it has come to our attention that there have been a number of complaints about the location of the composters in the vestibule and the smell creating a nuisance, and we thought it's important to have a discussion about it. Viable points have been made regarding environmental justice concerns because of how the security guards at the back desk are in the closest proximity to it, and are generally people of color.

Green Coalition thinks it's important to address this particular concern immediately, and on a larger level. The composting machines, the composting bucket, and the program in general needs more administrative support. Proper upkeep and maintenance of the composters will stave off the smell, but it has been difficult for students to sustain constant attention to our compost. The smell that people are complaining about is only an indicator of the inefficiency of this project and the necessity of stronger institutional support in order to fully incorporate composting into CUNY Law's custodial sustainability.

After having a discussion with Steve this afternoon, we reiterate our need for more administrative support for this program. We know that CUNY is committed to the above-mentioned sustainable goals and it seems apparent that the most clear way to evidence this is provide even a minimal amount of staff support for this program. The 3Ls (who have been highly involved with maintaining this program) will not be returning to the school, and because this has been an experimental project to jump-start a more concrete plan for composting at the Law School into the future, INCLUDING at the new building, we feel it is imperative that the Law School administration take on a portion of the responsibilities associated with composting. Green Coalition's strength in this plan has been and will continue to be educating the community, but because of the limited time students spend at the building, (and even have to devote when we ARE here), we're unable to completely administer the program.

We're glad to have the opportunity to introduce this concept and its technology into the community of students, faculty, and staff that will potentially be taking over. We recognize that through our efforts, more and more people have been composting. This is GREAT, and exactly what we wanted to effect!! However, the time has come to broaden our efforts if the school is to keep composting as an institution. Any of our members involved with composting would be happy to meet with staff to explain how to maintain the machines, even through the summer.

One of main reasons we thought it was important to institute this program at the school was because we wanted to get students involved and caring about their waste disposal patterns, and apprise them of the technologies available to improve them. We want to keep them enthusiastic about their ability to change and to also participate hands-on in the process, and at this point there just isn't as much student involvement as desired. As evidenced in the above email, we fully recognize that the program can neither be run solely by you or by us. However, at this point, the administration must provide a modicum of support to us in this effort in order for the program to continue at all. We'd love to hear back from you on ways you think this can be best accomplished.

Thank you so much for your time, we know it's valuable! We sincerely appreciate all the effort and dedication the administration has shown thus far, both for the composting program and for the waste audit. We all feel this has been an amazingly successful year.

Yours in a successful continuing composting program,
Green Coalition

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