Food waste and composting at the University by vgw19124


									September 20th, 2005
Food waste and composting at
       the University
Food Waste
Amount of Organic Waste
 Total Organic waste = 25.6%!!!
• Two common types of composting: with
  worms or without
• Outdoor composting in Michigan is what
  the city does and it is easier for large scale
• Composting with worms can be done year
  round in Michigan and is best for small
  scale operations
           Why compost?
• Recycling the organic waste of a
  household into compost allows us to
  return much need organic matter to the
• Composting reprocesses food scraps into
  something valuable and nutrient rich
• Composting diverts a large percentage of
  waste away from the landfills
  What is the University doing?
• Currently, U of M takes food scraps from
  several dorms around campus and takes a
  portion to the botanical garden and the
  rest goes into the city’s composting
   The City Composting center
                            *Started in 1989
                            *12,000 tons/yr
                            *saves the city $
                                and resources
  compostctr.html for more details
• Started last year by a group of interested
  University members
• Goal: create a closed-loop system to
  vermicompost food waste from dorms and
  create soil for on-campus gardens
• Experimenting with large-scale worm
• So far, a garden is at the botanical gardens and
  the operation is expanding as we speak!
• An excellent way to compost indoors and
  out worms break down your excess waste
• Worm bins may also be referred to as
  vermicomposting units
• Worm poop (a.k.a “castings”) are an
  excellent source of nutrients for gardens,
        In-office composting
• Carol (fellow REdU member) will share
  her experiences with composting in the
• Please take a look at the worm bins she
  has set up in the office.
• “Worms Eat My Garbage” is an excellent
  resource for how-to on worm bins (see
           Questions for Carol:
• How did you become involved in composting?
• On average how much time per week do you spend
  maintaining the bins?
• Do you ever see them as burdensome?
• Are people often intrigued with the worms?
• How much soil do you harvest from your bins per year?
• How much research did you do prior to starting a bin?
• Do office mates ever ask you for soil?
• How much food scraps would you estimate you divert in a
  given (month? year? week?)?
• Do the worms ever smell?
• What is your favorite/least favorite part about
• Any other questions?

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