One person’s trash is another’s black gold!

Our composting story:

Ohio State has a goal to be “Zero Waste” by 2025. Last year, we were chasing a #zerowaste goal for the café in our building. To enable this, we were going to begin composting the front of house waste at the Parker Dairy Store in March 2020!! We would be the first cafe on Ohio State campus to compost front-of-house waste and the findings from our initiative would inform similar composting programs in the future.  To measure the success of this program, we weighed the trash before the introduction of composting as a baseline which could then be compared to trash weights after beginning composting. Ideally, we would expect the trash volume to decrease as the compostable waste is diverted away from landfill. This would help reduce methane emissions by reducing the amount of organic matter like food waste ending up in landfills. ♻️ 🌱 🗑

We also measured the level of composting education and people’s attitudes towards composting. We found that people are willing to compost if an option were readily available to them. People were even willing to pay more for their food if their waste were to be composted! We were really excited to begin our composting pilot program and even received a grant from Ohio State Energy Partners to implement a year long composting initiative at the Parker Dairy Store.

Unfortunately, because of COVID, the prospects of the Dairy Store reopening are now slim.. Although a major hurdle, this hasn’t dampened our spirits! We are now exploring other multiple exciting ways to reduce food waste impacts on campus. Stay tuned for updates on this story!

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