Berea College Using the Sun to Compact Trash


Berea College is transitioning to solar powered trash compactors and eliminating many dumpsters on campus.

Three solar-powered trash compactors will allow the college to remove 40 dumpsters. This will both beautify the college as well as reduce the environmental harm caused by waste removal.

Instead of collecting waste every 3-5 days from traditional dumpsters, compacted waste can be hauled away every 3-4 weeks. This reduces the fossil fuels used in transport and reduces costs for the college. The units also allow waste to be weighed and recorded, giving the college data to explore further ways to reduce and eliminate waste.

This project affirms the college’s commitment to “maintain a residential campus and to encourage in all member of the community a way of life characterized by plain living…” as stated in the college’s Great Commitments, a mission statement. The college’s contemporary expression of this commitment is evident in numerous ecologically friendly and sustainable projects, including the construction of a new 42,000 square foot “Deep Green” residence hall, adjacent to Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant and monitoring energy usage on campus to meet the ACUPCC (American College & University President’s Climate Commitment) goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations and to promote sustainability as a role model for the community as well as students.

Categories: News, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Alternative Energy, solar, sustainability, trash, waste

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.