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WIU to Double Food Waste Composting


Western Illinois University will be able to double the amount of food waste it diverts from the landfill and turns into compost.

The money will let the university to expand its modular "Earthtub" composting system and to build a concrete area to help finish curing batches of compost.

WIU Sustainability coordinator, Mandi Green, said the compost is spread on flower beds and other landscaping all around campus.

She said that means the university doesn't need to purchase as much fertilizer.

She added that increasing the amount of food waste that goes into the composter instead of in the garbage has a direct economic impact.

"We pay per pound for our garbage. So when that food waste gets put in our garbage our poundage and what we pay for our garbage disposal goes up dramatically. So, it’s a cost thing,” Green said.

Western had to provide $8,000 in matching funds to receive the $23,000 dollar grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Scott Stuntz is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.