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International Compost Week

Happy International Compost Awareness Week! Composting is an easy way to get your hands dirty with sustainability right in your own backyard. Starting your own compost site is a great way to spend time outdoors, and did you know UT has an industrial compost facility? Our campus composting facilities are utilized daily to make UT greener. Read on to learn more about composting!

What is composting?
Composting is a process that takes food scraps and other organic materials and turns them into nutrient rich soil for gardens and other uses. It uses heat to break down the organic materials from scraps and turn them into food for your garden! It is a natural process, so setting up a compost in your backyard is fairly easy. All you need is some bare earth.

Why would I compost?
An estimated 40% of food in the United States ends up uneaten in landfills where it can’t break down naturally. Composting your food scraps at home helps reduce carbon emissions that come from those landfills. It can also help your garden, with the nutrient rich end product placed on your veggies they will be sure to thrive!

What is composting like at UT?
Composting at UT is a huge part of our sustainability efforts. Just last year we composted an estimated 1,300 tons of material! These scraps end up at our on-campus composting site (pictured above). Once the inputs from dining halls and landscaping efforts have finished going through the process of breaking down, the finished material ends up being used at many places on our campus.

Below as a timeline of composting at UT, and for more information on composting visit the UT Recycling Website. 

Do you have a compost site at home? We’d love to see pictures of it! Email us at sustainability@utk.edu with your pictures, questions, and all other composting related compost concerns. Happy International Composting Week!