Composting Strategies for Colleges and Universities

SMM Web Academy Webinar Series

This Webinar was recorded on December 5, 2013

View this Webinar on the ESRC YouTube Channel


Universities and colleges generate wasted food from many sources: dining commons, on-campus restaurants, residence halls, sporting venues, and university events. By reducing food sent to landfills or incinerators, schools can save money and reduce their environmental impact. This webinar will hopefully serve to energize students and faculty to take action to reduce or eliminate food waste on campuses throughout the U.S.

As part of the Food Recovery Challenge (FRC), EPA is working with schools everyday to secure the FRC commitment of reducing food waste. One great way to do this is to compost the food scraps generated on your campus. This webinar is designed to identify the factors you need to consider and to provide you with the technical information you will need to start a campus composting program. There are currently over 100 colleges and universities participating in the Food Recovery Challenge. Who will be the next school to join?

Whether your school has been composting for years or is just beginning to contemplate a composting program, the information presented today will be useful to you. This webinar features an overview of the Food Recovery Challenge and three presentations covering technical and program implementation information.

Presentation Info

Presentation: Food Recovery Challenge Introduction
Start Time: 0:01:19
Duration: 8 minutes

Melissa Pennington
U.S. EPA Region 3
Office of Materials Management

An introductory presentation on the importance of diverting food scraps from disposal at landfills and an overview of EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge.

Presentation: On-Campus Composting – Using the ASP Method
Start Time: 0:09:30
Duration: 34 minutes

Peter Moon
President & Principal Engineer

Provided logical, practical and technical information on how to achieve a successful composting operation on your campus. Peter and his staff design highly effective on-campus compost systems for processing food waste, landscape debris and mixed paper products. By eliminating the transportation component, Peter believes that on-campus composting goes a long way to helping colleges and universities meet their sustainability goals.

Presentation: Composting Program: Lafayette College, Easton, PA
Start Time: 0:43:52
Duration: 28 minutes

Arthur Kney, PhD
Associate Professor and Department Head
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Lafayette College, Easton, PA

Lafayette initiated their composting program during the 2006-2007 school year. Their program includes a student led “Composting Team” and composting has become part of their Environmental Science Curriculum. They use Earth Tubs which are self-contained, in-vessel composting units. The compost produced is used onsite by their grounds department for landscaping and in their campus garden.

Presentation: The University of Maine Sustainable Compost Program: Completing the Circle
Start Time: 1:11:47
Duration: 30 minutes

Mark Hutcinson
University of Maine
Orono, ME

University of Maine began their onsite composting program in early 2013 after many years of hauling food scraps to an off-site facility. In this presentation we hear about the development of their extensive composting operation which utilizes a 10-foot by 40-foot enclosed, an automated composting unit called the EarthFlow 40, manufactured by Green Mountain Technologies. The compost produced by this system is being used for landscaping and in campus green houses that grow produce that is being used in dining services completing the sustainability loop.

Presentation: Questions & Answers
Start Time: 1:42:11
Duration: 15 minutes

During this segment of the Webinar, sixteen questions were fielded by the presenters relating to specific aspects of the composting information they provided.