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Georgia Tech is testing various compostable materials collection infrastructures in the Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB) via a pilot project. The project is being conducted in preparation for compost collection in the coming Living Building, which will be constructed as Tech participates in the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge.
In addition to fulfilling many other green standards, the new building must exhibit net-zero waste, which includes diverting as much organic waste from landfills as possible. Currently, organic materials collection in publicly accessible areas exists only in the West Village dining facility, but it will also be featured in addition to recycling bins in the Living Building. Materials collected from EBB during the pilot are hauled off to composting sites, avoiding the alternative of consigning them to landfills. It's hoped that infrastructure created through this project will forge a path for future sustainability improvements not only at Georgia Tech, but at campuses worldwide.
Composting, in short, is the act of creating a fertilizer by letting organic materials such as food scraps, paper, and yard trimmings decompose into carbon and nitrogen, creating a closed nutrient loop.
Many people compost as a cheap yet effective way to enrich their personal gardens, but there is an even greater reason to partake in the process: sustainability. If left in a landfill's oxygen deprived environment, compostable materials decompose into methane, a greenhouse gas, rather than into soil nutrients.
Food and food scraps
Cardboard that has touched food (pizza boxes, etc.)
Wax-coated paper cups (no plastic coating)
Plants and grass clippings
Soiled or clean paper products and newspaper
Paper-based take-out containers
Wooden coffee stirs
The pilot has been extended into the Spring 2018 semester
According to a waste audit in January 2018, the pilot is diverting 64% of EBB's compostables from landfills
New 3-slots were added on floors 3-5 in EBB
New step-lid cans were added to women's and unisex restrooms for the pilot floors in EBB
A comment submission section was added to this webpage so that we can receive your feedback
Let us know what you think about the composting program in EBB by leaving a comment at the link below!
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