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Sustainability Club to Focus on Food Waste

A sustainability club has launched a petition asking AUT to install compost bins throughout campus to reduce unnecessary waste.

The petition has been created by Future Proofers AUT, who are focused on creating sustainability and wellbeing on campus.

Sahmay Abplanalp-Ellis, co-president of Future Proofers, says she was “gutted” when she found AUT had very few compost bins.

She says the handful of compost bins in the cafes and one in the new WZ building are not sufficient.

“People don’t know they are there and won’t go out of their way to use them.”

Abplanalp-Ellis says the Future Proofers goal is have a three-bin system with waste, recycling and compost in place across all three campuses. “For me it feels like one of the most basic ways you can divert waste. If it doesn’t need to go to landfill, then why send it there? “For some people, it might be a mission to take compost to WZ, but if there are options everywhere people will definitely use it.”

Food waste doesn’t biodegrade properly in landfill, as the tightly packed trash effectively creates a vacuum, sealing the organic waste.

AUT’s estates management team are supportive of the idea, but want the club to demonstrate wider student support for compost to help convince the university to make the investment.

The Future Proofers hope that this petition will show strong student support for composting going forward.

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