Student Center Goes Green
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Composting activists on campus are finally seeing the fruit of their labor.

The Cesar Chavez Student Center is initiating its in-house composting program tomorrow, helping SF State keep its waste management costs down and making campus just a little greener.

“If everything is completed, we will be the first green building on campus,” said Edina Bajraktarevic, retail commercial services manager for the student center. She said the student center will be converting a few vendors at a time and aims to have all vendors on board within the next few weeks.

Café 101 and Natural Sensations will be the first vendors to go through the greening process.

“They’re going to start doing it sooner or later, so why not be the first,” said Jack Mizirawi, owner of both food vendors. Mizirawi had been open to the idea of composting when it was presented last spring.

He said the vendors have been told if the program works out well, they may be able to experience a reduction in rent.

“I don’t really expect a big saving,” he said. He thinks if the staff can get it right, it will be easier for customers to follow.

The program includes the introduction of new green bins for composting and staff training. The staff will separate the compostable food items from what is not compostable when making food preparations behind the counter.

“We have the help from the Eco-students and from the city,” Bajraktarevic said.

The composting program is a small victory for the Eco-students, who had envisioned the program to help create a large eco-friendly waste management city that would make other universities green with envy.

“It’s so exciting,” said Charlotte Ely, who spearheaded the project. Ely graduated from the environmental studies program last May.

“I really think SF State will be a catalyst for the entire Bay Area,” she said.

When the Eco-students began advocating for the program last semester, the organization had also asked that the student center purchase compostable utensils and paper products made from potato-based materials and sugar cane fibers. Some vendors had said it was too costly.

The student center will not go through with the purchase of compostable products, Bajraktarevic said.

“They can’t afford it right now,” Ely said. “But it’s still an ideal to work toward.”

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