Colby-Sawyer Receives Hannaford Charitable Foundation Gift to Support Sustainability Initiatives

Colby-Sawyer College has received a $10,000 gift from the Hannaford Charitable Foundation to support the purchase of a commercial-size food composter.

In requesting the gift, then-Director of Development Glen Kerkian wrote, “There is a synergy between Hannaford’s publicly stated mission of creating healthy communities and its corporate values of community responsibility and environmental stewardship, Colby-Sawyer’s commitment to environmental sustainability – expressed both through our education offerings and campus facilities and operations – and the college’s mission to provide an accessible, first-rate education to students.”

The $32,000 Ecovim composter is installed in the dining hall and can handle 50 percent of the normal vegetable food waste generated in the dining hall in Ware Student Center, which keeps one ton of post-consumer waste every month from ending up in a landfill.

Students in the Principles and Practices of Sustainability class taught by Jen White ’90, director of Sustainability and assistant professor of Environmental Studies, researched organic waste solutions. Those results became the foundation for a Capstone project completed by Pooja Byanjankar ’15. In a presentation to senior staff and the Board of Trustees just before her graduation in May, she recommended the Ecovim as the best option.

“Thanks to the generosity of Hannaford, we are now able to convert food waste into a usable soil amendment for use on our campus landscape,” said White. “The installation of the Ecovim is a perfect embodiment of Colby-Sawyer’s strategic theme to live sustainably.”

“The Hannaford Charitable Foundation is proud to support Colby-Sawyer College’s vision for a more sustainable future,” said Heather Paquette, a Foundation board member and Hannaford vice president of operations for New Hampshire and Maine. “Hannaford stores share the college’s passion for zero waste, more than doubling our donations of fresh food in the last two years to fight hunger and diverting potential waste from landfills at an industry-leading rate.”

The $10,000 gift from the Hannaford Charitable Foundation follows on the heels of a $5,000 grant that supported building the college’s LEED-silver certified laboratory school, the Windy Hill School, which was dedicated in 2010.