New compost building constructed at Northland CollegeASHLAND, Wis. — Northland College recently finished construction of a new compost building on campus. The facility will be a focal piece of the college’s commitment to sustainable operations by reducing waste on campus and using compost to grow food consumed in the campus cafeteria.
ASHLAND, Wis. — Northland College recently finished construction of a new compost building on campus. The facility will be a focal piece of the college’s commitment to sustainable operations by reducing waste on campus and using compost to grow food consumed in the campus cafeteria. Northland hired Marengo-based Chisel Craft Timber Frame Company and Ashland-based businesses Mike Brown Irrigation Services, Ted Kramolis Contracting and Trudeau Construction to complete the facility this summer.
“The building also will operate more efficiently than our current compost shed on campus, as well as provide options for compost uses on and off campus,” said Tom Hmielewski, director of facilities at Northland College.
The current composting equipment at Northland will be moved into the new facility on campus, which will be used primarily to compost food waste from the campus cafeteria.
“The compost system was started in 1993 by student volunteers,” said Nathan Engstrom, Northland College’s Regional Sustainability Coordinator. “The construction of this new facility is the latest evolution in a nearly 20 year-old program and represents a further advancement in efficiency and effectiveness.”
Northland College also strived to attain sustainability throughout the building process. Chisel Craft Timber Frame Company used the construction method of timber framing to build the compost facility.
“The construction method is more sustainable than metal fasteners. The joints hold up longer unlike metal fasteners, which rust and rot over time,” said Rothe. “Timber framing also helps the building stay more straight and true and avoid leaning over time.”
Tom Trudeau, owner of Trudeau Construction, added that he was happy to see Northland contracting with several local firms rather than one large outside contractor.
“I think the college is a viable part of our community,” Trudeau said. “We’re happy to do any project of any size for Northland. We appreciate the work.”
Northland students are financing the new compost facility project through the Renewable Energy Fund. Students contribute $80 to the fund annually as part of their tuition and fees.