The Vermicomposting Project began in Fall 2017 and is being implemented by a team within the Zero Waste Research Center. Our project was initially inspired by the work in progress at the CSU – Sacramento Sustainable Technology Optimization Research Center (STORC). They are implementing a new processing system for their campus’ organic waste that integrates vermiculture and aquaponics called the Multitrophic Sustainability System (MTSS). The bottommost layer of this system is a tank of fish who feed on worms from the vermicompost above, which produces the upper layer of finished compost where plants are grown. For our own campus, our goal is to process all campus organic waste in-house with three different composting systems: the MTSS, a windrow system and organics sorting facility, and vermicompost.
The MTSS offers research opportunities on multitrophic ecosystems, closed-loop systems, and alternative gardening. The windrow system will be the main method of processing the large amount of waste a university campus produces. While the MTSS and windrow system are both integral parts of our long term plan, our current focus is on the vermicompost system.
The vermicompost bin will act as a small-scale pilot to model and test our plans to process all campus organic waste.
The bin will be put in place at Clark Kerr Campus in Spring 2019, in front of Building 21. The team will work closely with Cal Dining, using compostable waste from the Clark Kerr kitchen to feed the worms. The finished compost will then be donated to the Clark Kerr garden and to the grounds facilities team on the dorm’s campus.
The team will continue to pursue efforts of refining composting on campus while focusing on the vermicomposting project. A SERC Membership team will begin in Spring 2019. Sign-up for the SERC Newsletter to stay updated!
For more information on the TGIF grant or the MTSS project, please visit the links below. Any inquiries on the project can be sent to: