Making Dubuque Green: Loras Student Starts Initiative to Compost on Campus


This past year junior Jacob Jansen has made it his goal to help make Loras a greener campus.

Inspired by his efforts, I’ve decided to take a look at Dubuque’s drive to becoming a greener city in a three part series on Making Dubuque Green.

“You come with your plate and you put your food waste and your paper, so like your napkin or your little cups into any of these containers going that way, it’s labeled.” Holding up his fake plate, Jake Jansen shows just how easy it is to compost your trash. “Really what I am most passionate about is food waste.”

Loras produces roughly 32,000 pounds of waste a school year that is now being composted thanks to efforts made by students like Jake and his partner Bob. “We only get one earth” said Bob.

So the pair have taken up a cause:  “This is an issue that people care about, and a lot of students signed a petition. We passed that on to the higher ups at Loras.”

One of those higher ups includes Food Service Director Janell Wollschlager. Jake speaks highly of her, “She really made it happen.”

Looking at the issue, Janell said, “It’s kind of a no brainer. It’s an easy thing to do so it doesn’t cost us anymore, it’s a great way to use our resources that we have and it’s the right thing to do.”

After exploring different options on how to best get the job done, Jake, Bob, and Janell found their answer: GreenRu.  Speaking on the company Jake said, “And so it’s a company that goes across the state with an orange truck picking up food waste and so they already came to Dubuque and so we were like can you pick up Loras’ as well?”

Now that the school is composting, roughly 1,000 pounds of waste a week are being used for a greater purpose. “It’s dirt, it’s soil. It’s orgnaic material that now can be used to grow food.”

And while there is still a ways to go Jake is inspired by the change he has already seen. “It’s helpful and motivating to know that we have made that first step and so if we can make change as a few students and a few people that care we can keep doing that.”



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Maggie is a junior at Loras College and is from Mokena, Illinois. She is an anchor, producer, and reporter for LCTV News majoring in media studies with a minor in Public Relations and Politics.

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