Reduce Food Waste with Campus-Wide Composting at University of San Diego

Reduce Food Waste with Campus-Wide Composting at University of San Diego

Started
August 11, 2021
Petition to
Signatures: 534Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Colton Landaiche

Hundreds of pounds of food waste enter the landfill daily from USD's dining services alone, organic material that could instead be used on campus by helping our flowers and trees grow. 

We are proposing a campus-wide composting facility on USD's campus. Specifically, it would be capable of taking 2 tons of food waste every day and it would have a 700 sq ft footprint. The compost would be used on campus for the great amounts of vegetation or sold to the many local vendors who would rather use pure compost than chemical fertilizer. 

With this petition, we hope to show to the University the support of the student body toward sustainable measures. Specifically, we want to emphasize the importance of acting now because every day without large-scale composting is one with food waste being transported directly to the landfill where they create mass amounts of methane emissions. Methane gas has a Global Warming Potential of 28x, meaning it causes 28 times as much damage to the atmosphere as Carbon Dioxide does.

A cost-benefit study was conducted several years ago and the facility was actually determined to be profitable for USD, but Auxiliary services blocked it for their own, undisclosed reasons. Your signature shows student backing; it shows that the primary financial stakeholders of USD truly care about sustainability and waste reduction and demand that the school re-consider this critical measure.

Currently, the USD composting initiative consists of a mere handful of small composting units dispersed around campus, but there is no instruction to students on proper use of them nor is the current scale even close to enough for the food waste that leaves the campus on a daily basis. The biodigester in one of the dining halls also has significantly low impact due to often being out of order and small capacity. Additionally, USD is already required to abide by Commercial Organics Recycling regulation but they are currently failing to sufficiently meet these standards.

Composting enriches soil, helping retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests. It also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient-filled material.

An industrial-grade composting facility on campus can also benefit the community, as local restaurants would also have the option to drop off their own compost. This would reduce levels of waste going to the landfill, support local businesses, and provide nutrient-rich soil to USD.

Support now
Signatures: 534Next Goal: 1,000
Support now