Brian Van

Brian Van

The Student Compost Cooperative - Cultivating Compost Collaboration

Authors

Brian Van, Ann Wilkie

Mentor

Dr. Ann Wilkie

College

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Abstract

Composting is an organic and microbial process that transforms food waste into a nutrient-rich soil amendment.  Unfortunately, a majority of food waste is directed to landfills or wastewater treatment plants, whereby landfills emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and wastewater treatment plants lose valuable energy to manage the food waste.  By composting, society can grow beneficial microorganisms, boost soil aeration, improve water retention, provide valuable nutrients for plants, and curb environmental damage.  Established by the Soil and Water Sciences Department, UF-IFAS, the Student Compost Cooperative (SCC) acts as a cross-disciplinary education and outreach program to develop sustainable practices amongst the campus and community population.  Through lectures and orientations, participants are able to engage with and learn about the composting process as it relates to their actions and the actions of fellow participants.  Furthermore, garden plots are also available for participants to use the compost and grow fresh produce.  As a result, the SCC is cultivating a collaborative effort across the academic spectrum to compost and engage in sustainable practices.  Students and staff are welcome to join the SCC in the effort to make the Gainesville area more sustainable by working together and composting their food waste.

Poster

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Research Pitch

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