Niemeyer Project Proposal: Composting

Expanding Composting Efforts on Campus

Allie Niemeyer

Project Overview:

The intention is that I will apply for (and acquire) a SIP grant for an indoor composting system which Tree House will implement along with their current outdoor pallet composter.  From this we will investigate the differing products, efficiency, and problems that the two composting techniques produce, which can then be used as further research as to how the wider campus may be able to implement composting.  I also want to work with the different SLU’s and buildings and grounds to determine how their composting efforts can be undertaken in a successful manner so that the SLUs feel comfortable working with the compost and so that the compost can have a purpose besides waste diversion.  I would like to work with SLUs to determine how much waste is being diverted from the landfill on their end and troubleshoot any problems they may be having with their compost.  I would also like to look into options regarding the acquisition of brown compost (like leaves and cardboard) from the campus cleaning that goes on weekly.  On the other end I want to help find a place for the finished composted food to go, whether they use it as fertilizer with the planting process around campus or in the greenhouse or if there is another use it can have.  The purpose of this part of the project would be to make sure that on the small scale composting on campus could be implemented and to show that students are willing and interested to implement sustainable practices given the opportunity, in a reasonable way, to do so.

In addition to the individual composters I would like to investigate how composting can be utilized on a larger scale on campus, I will investigate different campus composting programs and attempt to get in touch with places that accept food materials for large scale composting to determine a location that would accept such a large amount of food materials.  I will also talk to the Chartwells director to determine how much food waste is being thrown in the garbage on a weekly basis.  My goal for this side of the project would be to determine what the campus would need to do to re-implement campus-wide composting from the kitchens and begin the research for a future student or a future project in order to produce a manageable amount of information so that someone could have a more concise starting point as to where to begin a campus-wide composting plan.

Project Outline:


Methods and Results

  • Project description
  • SIP process
  • Pallet composters
    • How they worked
    • Where materials were acquired
  • Zera/indoor composter
    • Comparisons between different composters made before purchase
  • Efficiency and problems with different composting types
    • Solutions to these problems
    • Future suggestions
  • Information about larger scale composting


  • Recommendations for SLU composting
  • Recommendations for indoor composter
  • Campus wide composting




Here I will give the information that I send the SLUs, including instructions on composting, common mishaps and solutions, and anything else I run across


Annotated Bibliography:

People :

Eva Blockstein-head of the Tree House, willing to help in any reasonable capacity.

Other SLU heads:             Nicole White, Izzy Taylor, George Brown, Delanie Baker, Marisa Grillo, Genaye Ervin, and Hailey LaRoe


Compostio- this is a cheaper option for an indoor composter that is currently available, the site has some information on how it works and its capacity.

4 Composters for small spaces-this is another list of indoor composters currently available.

Zera food recycler- these sites have information about the Zera composter that Whirlpool is in the process of releasing, it is a larger indoor composter

Composting in the Home Garden- this is a look at the composting process and the requirements of successful composting, as well as information about how to compost and when its done in a small scale composter.

Composting 101: What is Compost?- this is another look at the process of compost and how to use the finished product

How Do Compost Piles Work?- this is a look at pallet composting, the different mixture you want to keep and what you can and can’t add to the pile.

The Easiest Way To Compost- this is a look at the process of starting a pallet composter and the beginning steps to implementation of the composter.

Composting – this is a more in depth look at the benefits of composting and the items you should compost and their breakdown as a green or brown compost material

School Composting – Let’s Get Growing! A guide for student leaders and teachers- this is a basic guide to implementing composting at different scales at a school, it is more aimed towards elementary and middle schools, but has good information about things to consider for any large scale and small scale composting plans.

FOR solutions- this is a company that works with universities and has a large scale composter, it also has information regarding budget and efficiency of onsite composting.

The Compost Exchange- this is a Columbus company that may be willing to take food scraps and compost them, especially from the kitchen where the food is already separated.

One Response to Niemeyer Project Proposal: Composting

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