About Purchase Compost Initiative
The Purchase Compost Initiative began in 2013 and is overseen by the Sustainability Committee at Purchase College. Currently Professor Matthew Immergut and Professor Brooke Singer are the faculty sponsors and Amanda Sachs is the Student Master Composter (a position paid for by the Purchase Student Government Association). Other student volunteers help maintain the system and communicate the importance of reducing food waste on campus.
The Purchase Compost Initiative was co-founded by Professor Immergut and Singer with alumna Anna Palmer (Class of 2015). The Rocket Composter was purchased in early 2014 with funds from The Green Fee. After facilities built a foundation and shelter for the machine, The Rocket was installed and has been processing kitchen food waste from the HUB since Fall 2014. This site is tracking how many pounds of food waste since 2014 have been turned into soil by the Purchase community.
About the Rocket
The Rocket is an in-vessel, industrial composter. The Rocket maintains optimal temperature and automatically rotates the materials through the chamber, turning the waste into compost in about two weeks. Along with the food, wood chips from Central Tree Processing, located on campus, are added to maintain the proper carbon to nitrogen ratio. The Student Master Composter transports the resulting compost to the school garden where it is cured before using.
We recommend that you store food scraps in a bucket with a lid. To reduce liquid and odors, line the bottom of your bucket with shredded paper. You can also sprinkle shredded paper over the food scraps each time you add more. If you have room, you can put the scraps in a plastic bag in the freezer until delivering them. Please never leave scraps at The Rocket. Always hand them over to the Student Master Composter, who will do an inspection and then input them.
The Rocket is a tightly sealed and closed vessel. This means a wide range of food can be put into it because odor is not an issue. This includes cooked and uncooked meat and fish, cooked and uncooked fruits and vegetables, coffee, tea, bread, eggs and dairy. If you eat it then the Rocket will compost it!