Is your campus considering starting an on-site composting program, but doesn’t know where to start or which system to choose? Or does your campus want to grow its program or find solutions to its composting challenges? Either way, you are not alone! As more and more legislation targeting food waste reduction/bans become established, on-site composting systems are increasingly being recognized as important diversion strategies to meet institutional zero waste goals while revitalizing soils and engaging the campus community in sustainable action and research. This session will combine the diverse experiences and lessons learned from several institutions to inform the field on how to start or scale an on-site composting program and address current program challenges. Participants will be led through a decision tree exercise detailing the several major stages of the planning and/or scaling process which will include a deep dive into a comparison of different composting systems in terms of their relative costs, equipment, personnel, engagement, educational/living-lab potentials, etc. Presenters will share experiences and case studies on operational processes and management from their campuses which represent a wide range of climate regions, campus size, and food waste sources. By the end of the session, attendees will leave with a better understanding of the pros and cons of different on-site composting systems, as well as various strategies for tackling key challenges that might arise from feedstock management to compost application.

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