SolTrain at Merritt Field

Pomona's Class Day, a celebration of the Class of 2014 and their accomplishments, is going green this year.

All waste from the ceremony and dinner for approximately 1,500 students, family and friends as well as from the 30 department events catereed by the College, will either be composted or recycled, diverting roughly 10 tons of waste from landfills.

This year, Facilities & Campus Services has made special arrangements with the City of Claremont, which will take the compost to a specially contracted composting facility in Victorville. Pomona's Organic Farm, which handles the College's normal compost material, is not able to handle the volume of compostable waste from large-scale events.

Adding to the sustainability effort, Class Day planners have reduced the usual number of water bottles normally distributed at the Class Day ceremony and dinner, from 3,000 to 500. Instead Pomona's mobile solar rover, SolTrain, will power 10 water cooler stations at the ceremony and catering will have multiple beverage stations, with compostable cups, at the evening dinner.

"The effort to make Class Day more sustainable involved a lot of different offices coming together, including Students Affairs, Catering and Facilities and Campus Services," says Ginny Routhe, director of the Sustainability Integration Office.

"It was great to see how many people were willing to make an extra effort for sustainability. We're hopeful that this pilot project will lead to similar green events in the future."

Pomona's Sustainability Action Plan goal for waste is 75% diversion rate by 2020. Since 2006-07, Pomona has reduced its waste by 10%, excluding construction demolition waste, and electronic and hazardous diversion.