When compostable material is placed in the garbage, it's sent to landfill. In the landfill, this material is compressed over time as more garbage is added. During this process, food waste in unable to decompose due to lack of access to oxygen. Instead, it produces methane, and in turn contributes to global warming.
When we compost, organic materials are diverted from landfill. This process also allows valuable nutrients to return to the soil. This organic material is no longer considered "waste", it's now a useful resource.
Compost created on campus is used on campus, at our very own certified organic farm, the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming.
Joining the campus composting program is easy.
1. Check out our map to see if there's a black composter near you. If not, we can set one up outside of your building.
2. Email email@example.com to request a free indoor collection bucket, and some sorting posters. We'll show you how to line your bin, and how to maintain it.
3. Talk to your team and decide who will empty the indoor bin into the outdoor bin.
Please refer to the composing poster below for more details on what can and can't go in your composter.
Coffee to Compost is a volunteer-run program. Our volunteers pick up green bins full of coffee grinds from various coffee shops on campus.
Currently, we work with:Tim Hortons in MacNaughton, Tim Hortons in the Arena, Tim Hortons in Thornbrough, Tim Hortons in the University Centre, the Daily Grind, Macks, The Bullring, Second Cup in the Atrium, Starbucks in the library, and Windows in South Residence.
Our volunteers go to a specific coffee shop once a week to switch a full bin of coffee grinds with an empty one. Twice a week the coffee grounds are brought to the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming (GCUOF). From there, they are turned into yummy veggies!
In winter of 2012, Carolyn Chan started the Worm Composting Network; her purpose was to create a network of people who could learn about composting together, and share resources. In the summer of 2012 she had set up a vermicomposting trench at the GCUOF. She picked up coffee grinds from Williams in the library, and brought them to the GCUOF.
In September 2013, Carolyn and the Sustainability Office joined forces. All coffee grinds from Williams were soon taken to the farm. Later in the year, this grew to include two more coffee shops on campus, the Second Cup in the Atrium, and the Tim Hortons in MacNaughton. Since then we have been gradually expanding to include all coffee shops on campus!
Sign up on our volunteering page!
Vermi-composting is very different from backyard composting, as it relies largely on the digestive tracts composting worms to convert the organic material to a compost-like material known as castings. The castings are still very nutrient rich and when mixed with soil make excellent fertilizer for outdoor and indoor plants.
Vermi-composting's advantages over backyard composting are that it can take place indoors and at smaller scales. Although it is possible to have a vermi-composter outside, it is not recommended in Ontario due to cold winter temperatures and the risk of the worms escaping. Maintained properly, an indoor vermi-composter does not smell.
In 2012 a group of Guelphites got together to support, talk about, promote and learn more about vermicomposting. After a short period of hibernation, The Guelph Vermicomposting Network has been brought back to life! Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved with this new and exciting project.
The biggest challenge with Vermi-composting is you are maintaining a decent ecosystem for a bunch of living creatures. It is more than just a waste disposal and nutrient recycling method, you have dozens of little lives depending on you.
If the conditions for the worms become unliveable, they will exhibit symptoms ranging from climbing the walls and trying to escape, to dying. It is important to keep a close eye on them, especially when you first start. After a bit of a learning curve, they are usually pretty easy to maintain.
The final result of your vermicomposting is healthy, nutrient-rich soil. You'll know it's ready when the bedding is no longer recognizable. The challenge is getting the finished product out of the composter while leaving all the worms comfortable and safe. There are several methods:
Generally speaking, grain products, fruits and vegetables, plant clippings, egg shells, coffee grounds, and tea bags can all go in a vermi-composter.
Be sure to chop, break or crush whole produce such as citrus, pumpkins, squash, and apples. Some worms do not like citrus or onions and garlic. If the food is not eaten after two week, remove it from the composter.
Feed Your Worms:
Do NOT feed your worms:
Grease, Fat and Oil
There are currently 33 composting locations across campus, accessible to all members of the campus community.