Cory Johnson, Lydia Campbell, Julia Marie Allen and Brian Wempe, CSES, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
In 2011 the University of Arkansas (UA) diverted approximately 2.54 metric tons of food and paper waste from one dining hall to a composting facility located on campus. The program was unfortunately discontinued. In the spring of 2013 the Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences (CSES) club began an effort to reinstate the composting program. Collaboration with students of other UA clubs along with the support of the Division of Agriculture and the Office of Sustainability was garnered. Daily collection of food and paper waste from the dining facility will begin in August 2013. Students will be responsible for collecting, transporting, and disposing of the waste in two Earth Tubs™. Club members will be responsible for maintaining and operating the composting facility throughout the year. The goal of this project is to reduce the amount of food and paper waste that enters the local landfills, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions, university fuel costs, and costs associated with disposing of the waste in the landfill. Composting the food and paper waste, along with reducing the amount of waste generated, meets two of the goals of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Food Recovery Challenge and the UA goal to create a culture of sustainability.