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See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

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Wed, 04/22/2020 - 11:59
Transcript
0:03 – At Cornell University, we’re reshaping how people think about composting on college campuses.

0:06 – Let’s start at the beginning: What is composting?

0:10 – Composting is a process of breaking down organic waste into a beneficial natural soil additive.

0:20 – The process starts in the soil, where the right balance of nutrients is crucial to producing a healthy plant.

0:28 – Part of that plant is harvested, then processed or sold.

0:35 – Once it gets into our kitchens, it is cooked and served as a meal.

0:42 – Along the way, there is organic waste.

0:48 – Composting that waste makes the valuable nutrients accessible.

0:55 – and starts the growing process all over again.

1:00 – It builds health soil that retains moisture and suppresses plant diseases and pests.

1:08 – It also takes materials out of landfills and reduces greenhouse gasses.

1:13 – So, where does Cornell come in?

1:18 – We started our composting program in 1992 to manage manure and bedding from Cornell’s livestock.

1:23 – In 1998, we also started collecting food waste from our dining facilities.

1:28 – Now, Cornell’s Farm Services unit handles 1.5 million pounds of food waste per year.

1:32 – and 6.5 million pounds of organic wastes per year from greenhouses and animal facilities.

1:38 – The composting facility also benefits Cornell and the local community

1:41 – by serving as a valuable resource for teaching programs, tours and research projects.

1:46 – The compost facility won a 2009 Environmental Quality Award from the US EPA

1:51 – and it substantially reduces the university’s carbon foodprint.

1:55 – Cornell has created a model that converts campus-generated organic waste into rich compost.

2:00 – This compost then helps to nourish plants on our research farms, campus grounds and local gardens…

2:07 – beginning the cycle anew.

2:12 – Read more about our Composting Facility at cuaes.cals.cornell.edu