Western Washington University just launched one of the first residence hall compost programs in the country.

The student-led project was created by three students who had all lived in the dorms at Western. Juniors Risa Askerooth, Jessica Loveland, and Abby Severns completed the project by collaborating with University Residences and the Sustainability, Equity and Justice Fund.

Starting November 2018, each residence hall room will have ventilated compost bins. In future quarters, the bins will be part of the room’s standard furnishing. Residents will receive a free roll of compostable bags that will last through the quarter.

“We saw such a missed opportunity in the lack of accessible compost buckets for students in the residence halls,” Askerooth said in a release. “We realized that this program would be one of the first of its kind in the country and were determined to make it happen.”

The project came as a result of all three women taking on roles as Sustainability Rep Mentors last year. In the program they had to create and execute a project, and they chose to focus on putting compost bins in the dorms.

They aim to use the bins to help students understand the composting process and instill livelong environmentally-friendly practices in the students that use them.

“Change takes time,” Askerooth said. “But student voices can have a lot of power.”

To learn more about the new composting program, visit the Western Washington University sustainability website.