OU Receives State Grant To Fund Largest University Composting System

By
Kelsey Borza

Dateline
Updated Thu, Mar 29, 2012 3:09 pm

Ohio University is already known for its green reputation, but it's about to triple the size of its composting facility that is already largest university composting system in the country.

The university just received $120,000 from the state to expand its composting system.

Ohio University's Director of Sustainability, Annie Laurie Cadmus, said the project all started with a state grant for an energy efficiency project in 2009.

"We're at a really exciting part of the process where we're actually starting to see all of the work that has been done in the background for the past couple of years," she said.

They currently collect food, utensils, plates, cups and napkins from three dining halls on campus and turn it into two tons of soil each day.

After a three month process, the soil is used for intramural playing fields and university gardens.

By the end of June, the composting facility will be converting four or more tons of waste per day.

Cadmus said she sees OU as a model for other universities to learn from.

"We're doing a lot of research, we're gathering as much information as we can so we can give it out to other institutions who have these questions and hopefully then can institute programs that are tailored to their specific needs based on our experiences," she said.

The expansion will not only benefit the school. The city of Athens could get in on the deal too.

At the completion of the project, the university will be able to collect and process the majority of the city's yard-waste materials.

State Representative Debbie Phillips says the university's energy efficiency project will also include a $61,000 grant for the installation of solar panels.