Project Leads: Anna Yip and Valerie Yong

Project Sponsor: Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC)

TGIF Grant: $35,246

Project Theme: Waste Diversion and Reduction

Application Submission

Project Description: In efforts to better campus’ waste management practices and improve waste-related knowledge and transparency, UC Berkeley affiliates are working towards developing the capacity to process all of campus’ organic waste matter in-house. Due partially to permitting restrictions, but also to ensure diverse methodology and research opportunities, the group will be introducing the following three different composting systems: 1) The first is an experimental aquaponics system, inspired by Sacramento State’s. This innovative and newly developed system offers research opportunities on multitrophic ecosystems, closed-loop systems, and alternative gardening. 2) To better process the large amount of organic waste the campus produces, they will install an on-campus windrow composting system and organics sorting facility. Permitting restrictions limit the amount of organic matter allowed to be processed through the windrow system at any given time to 100 tons. 3) Since campus produces more organic waste than could be processed through the windrow system alone, they will also install supplemental vermicomposting plots. This working group (consisting of representatives from UCB and Sac State) just submitted another grant application through CalRecycle. Funding from this grant would be applied towards constructing the windrow composting system and the aquaponics (MTSS) system. This TGIF grant will supplement the CalRecycle grant for two main reasons: CalRecycle grants cannot fund student interns, and the group would like to begin working towards processing campus’ organic matter regardless of the outcome of the other grant. Thus, through this TGIF project, we will be hiring three student interns and the developing a vermicomposting system

Project Goals:

  1. Begin processing some of campus’s own organic waste in-house
  2. Improve campus’s knowledge and understanding of their organic waste stream
  3. Develop outreach and educational programs with Richmond community farms and school