Town, gown and trash: Improving composting at the College and in Williamstown

Given the substantive lack of composting options in and around the College and Williamstown as a whole, we at the Record believe that the College and town should develop a more holistic solution to managing and reducing waste. We hope that productive solutions will prioritize waste reduction, awareness and stewardship in the community. 

Composting is a process by which organic matter is broken down to create natural fertilizer for farmers, as well as to fill for construction projects.

Community members rest in peace in College cemetery

The College cemetery has served as the final resting place for generations of presidents, professors and other members of the College community. (Ethan Dinçer/The Williams Record)

“Guess where I’m going to be buried,” said Professor of Philosophy Joe Cruz ’91 to his cognitive science class as the last few students filed into the classroom.

Closer Look: The fight for better composting

Composting at the College is not as easy as placing Vegware and leftover food in the appropriate bins; rather, it is a complex process that is at the heart of the College’s and town’s larger debates over sustainability. Composting at the College is currently centered around the efforts of dining services, which sends leftover food and other organic matter to TAM Waste Management to be composted.

Exploring North Adams’ most haunted mansion

North Adams’ Houghton Mansion holds a variety of creepy sights, including an abandoned Freemason meeting room, an old barber chair and dusty Victorian bedrooms. (Irene Loewenson / The Williams Record)

Before the Freemasons sold the Houghton Mansion to developers in 2017, you could stay the night there for $80 so long as you followed three rules: no alcohol, no drugs and no ouija boards. So said Williamstown  resident James “Cricket” Wondoloski, who estimated that he has spent the night in the purportedly haunted North Adams mansion 13 times.

Incumbent North Adams mayor faces challenger

Voters in North Adams will go to the polls next Tuesday to determine their next mayor in a nonpartisan contest that pits incumbent mayor Thomas Bernard ’92 against McCann School Committee member Rachel Branch. Bernard, who identifies as a Democrat, is likely favored over Branch, who identifies as an independent, due to his incumbency and financial advantage.