Authors: Daisy Andrews, Ann C. Wilkie
Faculty Mentor: Ann C. Wilkie
College: College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Composting is a natural process by which organic wastes decompose into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. Compost enriches the soil with organic material and improves water retention. By reducing the disposal of organic waste into landfills, composting decreases greenhouse gas emissions and reduces demand for commercial fertilizers. The Student Compost Cooperative (SCC) is a cross-disciplinary education and outreach program established by the Soil and Water Sciences Department, UF-IFAS, that fosters sustainability and nutrient upcycling through composting, gardening and rainwater harvesting. The SCC provides free garden plots at the BioEnergy and Sustainable Technology (BEST) Laboratory, allowing students to utilize the compost on-site and establish a circular “plate-to-plate” sustainability practice whereby food waste is repurposed to grow fresh nutritious food. While the SCC was originally established to promote composting of food scraps, it has grown to foster a diverse community working to eliminate waste, promote organic gardening, and to learn about sustainable living and a circular economy. The SCC hosts tours and events, promotes collaboration among other organizations, and strives to popularize sustainability through social media. All students and staff are invited to participate in the SCC to make the UF campus a more sustainable community by supporting plate-to-plate sustainability.