Horseradishgrowininsoilndouglas

The dirt on the dirt: organic composting at the University of Louisville

By Nathan Douglas–

Scraps from most foods can be composted, a process that turns organic material back into an enriched soil. Just about anything that is biodegradable can be composted. However, certain food products – meat, bones, pet waste and chemically treated substances, among other similar things – should not be attempted.

Quills, a coffee shop on Cardinal Boulevard, discards used coffee grounds into buckets for the campus gardening group, Garden Commons, to use in their composting bins. Having a container on hand for compostable materials makes composting much easier, as discarded materials can be added to a compost pile in bulk.

A student composts on the balcony of their apartment.

A compost heap can be turned every one to two weeks to speed up the decomposition process. Composting can be done virtually anywhere with adequate airflow.

These composting bins are repurposed dumpsters. They are apart of a campus-wide effort to recycle scrapped food waste.

With time, the waste will decompose and turn into compost. Students maintain the compost bins located off Bloom Street.

The finished product is used to supplement garden beds, mending the soil and aiding the growth of plants. The cyclical nature of composting enables a community to reuse otherwise wasted food.

The Garden Commons participates in composting, taking biodegradable materials from local businesses, like Quills Coffee Shop.

ndouglas@louisvillecardinal.com
Photos: Nathan Douglas/The Louisville Cardinal

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