Vermicomposting by the Zero Waste Research Center

Vermicomposting by the Zero Waste Research Center

TGIF Award: $13,093.46

Project Theme: Zero Waste

Project Sponsor: The Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC)

Project Description:

This Vermicomposting project began in 2017, after several Zero Waste Research Center (SERC) employees were awarded grant money from TGIF to begin an initiative that would allow UC Berkeley to process all of its organic waste in-house, inspired by the vermicomposting and aquaponics system started by the Sac State Sustainable Technology Optimization Research Center. The original grant was used to purchase a vermicomposting bin currently located at the Clark Kerr Campus. The vermicomposting bin has been actively processing organic food waste since Spring 2019, primarily from the Clark Kerr Kitchen. This TGIF grant will be used to purchase composting materials such as manure, worms, and gardening tools for project maintenance and so that community members can get involved in the project hands-on. Furthermore, the grant will fund several hot compost bins, allowing expansion of composting scope while increasing the volume of food waste that can be processed on a weekly basis. Finally, the grant will be used to support  student interns, whose responsibilities include bin upkeep and educational initiatives for students from K-12 schools and colleges, and other community members. Finished compost will be donated to campus-affiliated or community gardens in the Alameda County area.

Project Goals:

1. Process some of campus’s own organic waste in-house

2. Involve the Berkeley community in composting initiatives to improve their knowledge and understanding of their own waste streams

3. Offer educational programs on composting, including a DeCal course and workshops with local K-12 schools


Project Leaders: Tamlyn Schafer, Cailin Born

2021 TGIF Spring Application