Students win award for compost project
Five University of Iowa students were honored at Iowa Recycling Associations Annual Awards July 19 as this year’s best recycling organization for their work on a compost project with local coffee shops.
Stephen Bonett, Ilsa Dewald, Marco Jiminez, Joe Knight and Jeremy Spiwak operate the Green Consulting group on campus. Green Consulting Compost Project works with local businesses to help divert material from the landfill, educate the community about the importance of diverting organic waste, and provides the UI student garden with compost to keep the soil fertile for each growing season.
Green Consulting has partnered with local coffee shops Java House and T-Spoons to collect coffee grounds and food waste items. The students volunteer between 10 and 12 hours per week to move the material to create compost for the student gardeners. “One of our primary goals is to create a closed-loop system,” said DeWald. “The material we collect locally is composted in the garden’s on-site composting facility, which is then amended into the soil to help produce food which will then be sold to the University to be used in kitchens on campus.”
This past year the Green Consulting group’s volunteer efforts have diverted over 4,000 pounds of organic material from the landfill. The group looks to expand its efforts; they have begun to collect food waste from Phillips Hall this summer and are looking at other campus buildings where their service would be an asset. If you are interested in Green Consulting’s efforts or would be interested in working with them please contact Ilsa DeWald at: firstname.lastname@example.org