Food Residuals Composting

Name and Position/Title:
Kapil Arora, Agricultural Engineering Field Specialist

Fiscal Year Submitted:

POW Title and Number:
160 - Natural Resources and Stewardship

Food Residuals Composting

Issue (Who cares and Why):
According to Iowa Department of Natural Resources, organic wastes comprise forty-six (46) percent of the total waste landfilled in the State of Iowa.  These organic wastes include wood, animal, food, paper and yard wastes.  One of DNR’s Organic Recycling Program’s goals is to divert organics from landfill by adding value to these materials.  Iowa is still working toward a 50 percent statewide diversion goal.  This project focuses on the professional education on Food Residuals Composting needed to help the State of Iowa achieve this goal.

What Did You Do? (Outputs – these may include educational meetings, demonstrations or research, media, facilitating, partnering)
Sponsored by Iowa Department of Natural Resources, ISU Extension developed and delivered a specialized one-day workshop for professionals involved in food residuals composting.  This workshop educated professionals about the art and science of food residuals composting, including definitions, principles, issues, opportunities, and problems in food residuals composting.  The workshop addressed typical issues of food waste composting i.e. high water content, high sugars, high proteins, high fats, and high salts.

Results (Outcomes – was there a increase in knowledge, new skills learned, new decisions made, new practices implemented, increased profitability, new standards, enhanced quality of life)
Participants from Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Minnesota attended the workshop.  Participants were evaluated for both pre-school level of knowledge and post-school level of knowledge on three topics:

  1. The Art and Science of Food Residuals Composting
  2. Food Residuals Composting Rules
  3. Components of Food Residuals Pulping Process

All participants increased their level of knowledge on the three topics by over 80%.  Final list of participants completing the workshop was provided to Iowa DNR for renewal of their certification.

Page last updated: July 19, 2011
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