Composting and Food Recovery
A Community Project
Dr. Denise Polk, a communication studies professor in the College of Arts and Humanities at West Chester University, has long had a personal interest in sustainability and the environment. She realized the impact that sustainability has in the community and saw an opportunity for the university and the town of West Chester to collaborate. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food is the largest waste category , sending about 35 million tons of food waste to landfills across America annually, where it decomposes slowly and releases methane byproducts that are far more potent than carbon dioxide. But, food waste can be turned into compost that rejuvenates poor soil and reduces the need for the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
Dr. Polk teamed up with the Borough of West Chester to create a pilot municipal composting program. She obtained funding from the EPA in 2014 to launch a trial involving the food waste from three local restaurants. Over six months, the restaurants set aside their food waste, and the Department of Public Works picked it up and hauled it to a certified composting facility. Dr. Polk will discuss the impact on the community of the trial and the continuing success of the expanded project.
To register for this program, please visit our online event calendar.