BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department
BS in Agricultural Systems Management
Composting helps our environment and promotes healthy soil, which decreases the need for fertilizer, pesticides, and supplemental water. Reducing the amount of food waste in landfills has significant environmental, economic, and social benefits. The main goal of this project and a sustainable campus involves increasing awareness of environmentally sustainable developments such as Cal Poly’s compost facility. This senior project discusses the feasibility, cost analysis, and evaluation of Campus Dining’s food waste in Cal Poly’s compost facility. If Cal Poly were to incorporate Campus Dining food waste into their compost facility, Cal Poly would be saving $16,185 a year on tipping fees alone. In addition, the composted food waste could generate a revenue of $2,250 per year for a total offset of $18,435 per year. Cal Poly would not start making a profit until the 9th year, and without consideration of non-market costs and benefits, it is not possible to recommend implementing food waste in Cal Poly’s compost facility. If in the future, mandates change for Cal Poly, composting of food waste could be examined.