Super-Composter a Hit On Campus at Montclair State University in NJ

Well folks, the students and faculty at Montclair State University in New Jersey recently celebrated the fact that they're newest eco-toy is up and running. And that means it's busy breaking down the food waste generated on campus and turning it into fresh compost in just 2 days time!

It's one of a very few university-based aerobic digesters in the country, and the vessel itself can process a total of 2 cubic yards (approximately 2 tons) of food residue daily. Amazingly, it costs just 3 bucks a day to run.
Apparently, the ton of food a month that is diverted from the schools' waste stream is collected in one location by their food services vendor, Sodexho, then emptied into the bio-mixer where it is mixed in with wood chips (which act as a "bulking agent" to extract moisture while providing a source of carbon for microbes to breakdown the food matter.) The material is rotated slowly (4 times an hour, 4 times each day) to help break down the food residues, and two days later, it is completely broken down into usable compost that is used to fertilize green spaces on campus.
Since the mixture reaches a temperature of at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit while it's composting the process is odor-free as well.

And as associate professor Nicholas Smith-Sebasto puts it, "The amount of food residue that ends up in landfills is astonishing, and the food waste that is thrown out and ends up in landfills is a contributing factor to the 'build out' problem that has reached a critical point in New Jersey."

Which is really no joke at all, as researchers estimate the entire state of New Jersey will reach the "full build-out" stage sometime in the next couple of decades. And that means no more undeveloped land left on which to build.

I wonder which "founding father" could have imagined that problem occuring a couple of hundred years ago?

See also:: University Administrator Falls in Love; With Worms!

via:: press release

Tags: Composting | New Jersey