Thursday, September 1, 2016

Ever Composted 70,000 Pounds in a Year?

Guest blogger Catherine Walsh

We have a couple of gems in our area – composting gems, that is. Two venerable institutions have taken matters into their own hands, so to speak, and addressed a large waste stream for each of them through on-site, in-vessel composting (composting in a very large, metal contraption).

Findlay Market, located right smack in downtown Cincinnati, is special for many reasons – it’s an historic landmark, it has continuously operated in the same iron-framed building since 1855, it’s an economic driver for the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, and it’s a really fun place to do your grocery shopping or just walk around. On top of all that, Findlay Market operates the first Class II composting facility in an urban area in the state of Ohio.

Class II composting facility, you ask? Well, that’s a designation that indicates it’s not a backyard composting pile (like the one at your house), but a regulated and managed operation that is permitted to accept and process food scraps from a business, in this case from Findlay Market itself.
Since it started managing food waste in 2010 by actively composting it in the Earth Tubs, Findlay Market has kept an average of about 70,000 pounds per year from going into the landfill. That's something to crow about! 

In-vessel composting system at Findlay Market.

Up the hill from Findlay Market is another long-lived institution that provides our region with education, community service, and some pretty darn good basketball. Xavier University, located in Norwood, Ohio, is home to more than 6,000 students, many of whom live and eat on campus. In fact, in a week during the school year, 30,000 meals are served and, about 3,500 pounds of food scraps are generated at the main student dining hall.

In 2013, Xavier installed in-vessel composting equipment and began to work toward the goal of keeping all organic waste out of the landfill. With the help of grant money from Ohio EPA, Xavier purchased special equipment they use to dehydrate cafeteria food scraps before processing that material in their in-vessel composting units.

The magnificent compost that this generated throughout the school year is the "X factor" that groundskeepers use to keep the 189-acre campus healthy and looking beautiful.

Thanks to all you regular readers and backyard composter for doing what you do. And thanks to these two major institutions for committing time and money to turning food scraps into a valuable resource for a healthy community.

Earth Tubs used to compost food scraps and yard trimmings at Xavier University.

1 comment:

  1. That's so cool! I love Findlay and go there for breakfast every Saturday morning!