UMaine has a long-standing commitment to reducing food waste through composting. In 2012, UMaine invested in a 40-foot Earth Flow In-Vessel Composting System from Green Mountain Technologies. The on-campus composting system helps UMaine divert over 400,000 lbs of food waste per year, while also providing hands-on educational opportunities to students. The compost is used across campus – at Rogers Farm, at J.F. Witter Teaching and Research Center, on gardens and campus landscaping, and in the UMaine Greens greenhouses.
Watch to see UMaine composting in action!
How it works
Pre-consumer waste from the dining commons and the Marketplace are combined with horse bedding and wood chips from UMaine’s J.F. Witter Teaching and Research Center. The Earth Flow In-Vessel composting system automates mixing, aeration, and moisture addition to rapidly compost about 1 ton of food waste per day. Composting takes place year-round, even in severe weather conditions. During a recent winter, with an outside temperature of -5°F, temperatures inside the Earth Flow held steady at 140-150°F.
Maine Compost School
The UMaine Earth Flow In-Vessel composting system was designed in partnership with the Maine Compost School, the longest running compost school in the US. Founded In 1997, the Maine Compost School was formed to help people develop a knowledge base for medium to large scale composting operations.
For composting resources, check out UMaine Cooperative Extension: Garden & Yard – Composting
Installation of the Earth Flow system in 2012
The automated auger mixes compost inside the Earth Flow system