Composting on College and University Campuses

Composting on College and University Campuses

“Food Composting on College & University Campuses” is the second webinar of the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC) 2010-11 series. This webinar included four presentations addressing composting and food waste diversion from dining operations. Donny Addison, a CURC Steering Committee Member and the Manager for the Waste Reduction and Recycling Department at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., moderated the webinar.

The 2010-11 CURC webinar series presents a free technical case study and best practice presentation every other month. The series is made possible through the generous support of the Alcoa Foundation and Keep America Beautiful.

Slide Presentations

Kelly Zillmann, Compost/Events Coordinator for the University of Oregon, will speak about that school’s composting pilot programs and special events composting.
[Slides - PDF]

Sonia Marcus, Director for the Office of Sustainability at Ohio University, will discuss the implementation of the university’s campus-wide composting program, including its new in-vessel system capable of handling four tons of food waste a day.
[Slides - PDF]

Christopher Stemen, Senior Director for Sustainability & Environmental Stewardship with Aramark, will speak on how recycling and sustainability professionals can work with food services companies to implement successful composting programs at their university.
[Slides - PDF]

Steve Mojo, Executive Director for the Biodegradable Plastics Institute (BPI), will discuss the performance of non-petroleum compostable and biodegradable service-ware products.
[Slides - PDF]

Audio-Video Files

Part I - Kelly Zillmann and Sonia Marcus (Quicktime .mov file)
Part II - Christopher Stemen and Steve Mojo(Quicktime .mov file)

Presenter Biographies

Sonia Marcus, LEED AP+
Director, Office of Sustainability
Ohio University

Sonia Marcus, LEED AP+, has overseen the Office of Sustainability at Ohio University since its inception in the spring of 2006. Prior to joining the staff, Sonia received her Master's degrees in Communication & Development Studies and Environmental Studies from Ohio University, and her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Stanford University. Under her leadership, Ohio University has implemented a number of key sustainability initiatives, including a long-term sustainability planning process, an ecology-based student residence, an innovative efficiency program targeting student rental units in the Athens community, a highly successful dorm-based energy competition, three LEED registered renovation projects, as well as a campus-wide composting system, which is the largest of its kind at any college or university in the nation. Ohio University became a charter signatory to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment in March of 2007.

Kelly Zillmann
Compost/Events Coordinator
University of Oregon

Kelly Zillmann is the Compost and Events Coordinator for the University of Oregon's Campus Recycling.  She started working at Campus Recycling in 2002 as a student recycler and in April 2008 she developed and implemented a compost collection pilot program.  In October 2008, the program was permanently funded and public collection sites grew from nine to over 30!  Kelly also manages waste diversion for catered events and three large events on campus, started a paper towel compost pilot project, and is in the process of getting desk-side compost buckets for faculty and staff.

Christopher D. Stemen, LEED AP
Senior Director, Sustainability & Environmental Stewardship

Chris Stemen brings more than 20 years of leadership, environmental stewardship experience and operational process improvement to his role with ARAMARK.  Chris is presently responsible for the thought leadership, development, deployment, training and continual elevation of ARAMARK Higher Education’s sustainability platform. Chris has led several sustainability facilitation and roadmap solutions, independent LEED certification charrettes, local and sustainable food initiatives, sustainability committee developments, greenhouse gas inventories, waste reduction initiatives, recycling program expansions and climate action plans. Outside of ARAMARK, Chris is President of Madison Cares: a community-based, non-profit working with Habitat for Humanity to construct simple, efficient sustainable housing – all while greening their processes and materials. Chris received his B.S.I.E. degree from Purdue University, and has advanced training in the fields of Total Quality Management, Value Engineering, Process Improvement and is a LEED accredited professional, through the US Green Building Council.

Steve Mojo
Executive Director
Biodegradable Plastics Institute (BPI)

Steve Mojo is the Executive Director of the Biodegradable Products Institute, which represents the leading manufacturers and users of compostable products in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia. As such, he has been instrumental in the BPI’s labeling efforts as well as in the harmonization of biodegradability and compostability standards in around the world, along with discussing the benefits of renewable resources. This year mark’s Steve’s 20th year in the in the field of compostable/biodegradable materials and composting. Steve is also active participant in ASTM and ISO subcommittees for environmentally degradable plastics, where he helped to develop some of the key standards used today. He participated on the Advisory Board for the California Integrated Waste Management Board’s project on compostable materials, testified at the FTC’s workshop on the Environmental Marketing Guides and is actively involved with Wal-Mart’s Sustainable Value Network. Additionally, he has served on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Composting Council.

As a complement to this webinar, participants can learn more about other campus composting programs from a pair of articles from BioCycle, "Colleges Scrape The Plate, Close The Loop" (July, 2010) and "College Students Initiate Food Waste Diversion" (September, 2010).