- Food waste composting project in 2010
Food waste composting project in 2010
In 2007, the University of Iowa and the Iowa City Landfill Recycling Center began a pre-consumer food waste composting pilot project that has since grown into a University-funded program composting over 80 tons of food waste. The original study and pilot were initiated by a student research project for Prof. Jerald Schnoor's class, Sustainable Systems.
Each semester, about 12 tons of food waste from Hillcrest and Burge dining halls is composted with other organic waste at the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center. When the compost is ready, some is returned to campus as a soil amendment for the Student Garden and the rest is sold to the public as one component of Iowa City Community Compost.
In the 2010 spring semester, a second group of students from Dr. Schnoor's class is studying the possibility of including post-consumer food waste in the UI program. According to Jennifer Jordan, Recycling Coordinator with the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center, this addition could potentially divert another 350 tons of food waste from the landfill. Besides reducing waste the UI sends to the landfill, the inclusion of post-consumer waste will allow the Landfill and Recycling Center to offer the program to other businesses in Johnson County.
Holly Moriarty, one of the students working on the original class project in 2007 and a driving force in working with the University and Iowa City officials to make the pilot project a reality, received the Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operation's Innovative Project Award in 2007.