Feed The Beast: Organic Waste Collection in a Campus Food

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Feed The Beast: Organic Waste Collection in a Campus Food

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Presentations text content in Feed The Beast: Organic Waste Collection in a Campus Food


Feed The Beast: Organic Waste Collection in a Campus Food Court

Ashley Kraus & Dr. Michael Lizotte, Sustainability Office, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

A 2012


from the State Energy Office was

used to implement a program called Feed the


which was

designed so that UW Oshkosh’s Student

Union could be a

center for the campus’s first organic waste separation bins.

The separated


matter was

transported to the campus’s waste-to-energy




This dry fermentation


uses microorganisms to decompose 6,000 tons of organic matter/year in an oxygen free environment. Biogas (mostly methane) is produced as a result. The unit can generate 400 kilowatt hours of output equalling approximately 8% of the university’s electricity needs.



1: Marketing and


Named the campaign, designed the beast in partnership with our marketing departmentFacebook (FeedTheBeastInReeveDining)Used pins, pledges, hand outs, games, and coupons as incentives to Feed the BeastPromotional videoTable tentsArticles in the college newspaperHung posters

Step 2: Logistics of ImplementationPartnered with Reeve Union, University Dining, and Sodexo, the official food service contractor for UWOOrdered bins, garbage collection cartsOrdered biodegradable bags which lined the binsFigured the logistics of transporting the wasteStep 3: Compostable Waste CollectionWastes were separated from February 29th to May 11th, 2012 by Reeve Union users into six Beast-themed containers which were coupled with trash and recycling bins (shown left)Contaminants and compostable materials were manually separated and their respective weights recorded dailyCompostable waste was transported one mile from the main campus to the biodigester on a daily basis (shown below)

The Beast bins in Reeve Union

A week’s worth of compostable/organic material at the


in the biodegradable bags


Step 4: Results

Contamination levels varied daily, but did not trend up or down over the course of the collection period

Few recyclables were found in the Beast bins (15 lbs. through out the semester)Contaminants included pasta pans, plastics, straws, utensils, and wrappersThe beast contributed an insignificant amount of the daily total organic wastes consumed by the biodigester

Top graph is total compostable material per day collected in Reeve Union (median = 16 lbs/day). Lower graph is contamination as a percent of total waste collected in the Beast containers (median = 29%). Please note that the gap in March is Spring Break week.

Contact information…

Ashley Kraus:









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