Long Beach, Calif. - April 13, 2015 - The University Student Union's (USU) "Compost Happens" program at California State University, Long Beach has received national recognition for its excellence and innovation. On Thursday, April 9, the USU's Sustain U committee was awarded the Excellence in Innovations for Sustainability Award for the "Compost Happens" program at the Association of College Unions International's (ACUI) 2015 annual conference in San Antonio, Texas.
Since the inception of the "Compost Happens" program on Earth Day 2014, 48,000 pounds of organic material has been diverted from landfills and improved the campus community.
This award is important to Sustain U because it means that their work has been recognized on a national level. "We are really excited about receiving this award because it shows we have the ability to inspire other universities across the nation who are looking into starting similar programs," said Sustainability Assistant Melissa Romero. "We not only represented our university as a whole, but as leaders in sustainable programs."
The "Compost Happens" program originated from a student's suggestion and was turned into a comprehensive program that ultimately contributed to a change in culture by educating students, faculty, and staff in the USU about what could be composted. The USU staff coordinated a retrieval process for collecting it from food areas including the kitchens and dining areas. Volunteers, known as "Trash Talkers," wore T-shirts and stationed themselves in the dining area to educate the campus community about the compost bins and spread the word about the program.
The Excellence in Innovations for Sustainability Award recognizes members of the Association of College Unions International who are solving environmental challenges by using innovative and environmentally sustainable practices or creative partnerships.
For more information, visit asicsulb.org