Pitt, SGB to rent compost dumpster

During Tuesday night's Student Government Board meeting, Joe Streets, discussed a new composting dumpster which will be placed behind Posvar Hall. Will Miller | Staff Photographer

This week, Pitt will install its first long-term composting dumpster outside Posvar Hall, Student Government Board environmental chair Joe Streets announced Tuesday.

At its weekly public meeting Tuesday night, Streets announced that Facilities Management, along with PittServes and his committee, would place a three-cubic-yard composting dumpster near the parking garage below Posvar Hall.

Pitt’s grounds crews and Facilities Management staff will use the dumpster to compost food waste and yard waste from events on campus. Streets said the groups had not set a specific date for when they would place the composting dumpster, but said it would be in place before Feb. 5.

According to Streets, the University rented a similar composting unit from AgRecycle, a composting company, during orientation week to make several orientation events zero-waste.

Streets and the committee met with Pitt’s Facilities Management and waste management in December to discuss the composting dumpster.

The dumpster, which SGB will rent from January until April, cost about $500. Streets said they decided to rent for three months because they were not sure how useful it would be during the summer semester. He said if “all goes well,” SGB will rent the dumpster again in the fall.

In other action, SGB’s Allocations Committee named Stephen Berry, a sophomore economics and political science major, as its 13th and newly appointed member. Berry interviewed for the open committee position in the fall but didn’t get it, and Allocations Chair Nick Reslink emailed him encouraging him to reapply.

Since April 2015, six Allocations Committee members have left their posts. In response, SGB voted in September to allow the committee to keep an alternate on retainer should another member resign.

Reslink, however, said he expects Berry’s appointment to be the last for this Board’s term, which ends in May. Connor Moon, an undeclared first-year, will serve as the committee’s alternative in case of another resignation.

For his part, Berry said he looks forward to working with his assigned student organizations.

“I think the student activities fund is one of the most important things SGB does,” he said. “I feel like this has a big impact on the student body, and I want to help student groups continue to access this,” Berry said.

Of 18 applicants, Reslink, Vice Chair Max Kneis and SGB President Nasreen Harun interviewed eight candidates.

Reslink said the interviewing process for the position was tailored for a candidate joining the committee later in the term.

“The interviews were technical in nature,” he said. “There were sample allocations requests, and we had them work through it. The goal was to pick a candidate [that] demonstrate[d] ability to pick up on rules quickly.”

In other action, Pitt’s Diversity Council will host an education panel Thursday at 9 p.m. in the O’Hara student ballroom.

Since last semester, Board Member Jacky Chen served as SGB representative on Pitt’s Diversity Council, a coalition of student organizations who advocate for the cultural community and minorities at Pitt. Asian Student Alliance, Black Action Society and Campus Women’s Organization sit on the council.

Chen said he wanted to get involved to help the council.

“I thought it would be beneficial to create a bridge between us and Diversity Council,” Chen said. “I can relay problems people have on campus and use my connections to help program events, like the education panel.”

According to Chen, the panel will discuss diversity at Pitt and how Pitt retains minority students.

Chen said it is important to discuss diversity to make changes at the University.

“We are one of the lowest on the bar in terms of diversity compared to schools that are similar to us,” Chen said. “These are things people aren’t aware of, so it’s good to start discussion and advocate for minority students.”

Allocations:

PantheRaas requested $2,030.54 for a dance competition in Chicago. The Board approved $1,930 and denied $100.

Medical Brigades requested $1,413.70 to travel to the Yale Global Health Conference. The board approved the request in full.

University Handbell Ensemble requested $8,886.60 for new bells. The Board approved $8,719 and denied $147.60.

Steel City Bhangra requested $3,208.96 for a competition. The board approved $2,644.08 and denied $564.88.

Editor’s Note: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this story stated that vacancies on the allocations committee date back to the beginning of the academic year. They date back to April 2015. The story has been updated to reflect this change. 

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