Vermicomposting

Project Lead: Anna Yip & Valerie Yong

Sponsor: The Student Environmental Resource Center 
 
TGIF Grant: $35,246
 
Project Theme: Waste Diversion and Reduction
 
Project Location: Richmond Bay Global Campus
 
Status: In Progress
 
Project Description: In efforts to better campus' waste management practices and improve waste-related knowledge and transparency, UC Berkeley affiliates are working towards developing the capacity to process all of campus’ organic waste matter in-house. Due partially to permitting restrictions, but also to ensure diverse methodology and research opportunities, the group will be introducing the following three different composting systems: 1) The first is an experimental aquaponics system, inspired by Sacramento State's. This innovative and newly developed system offers research opportunities on multitrophic ecosystems, closed-loop systems, and alternative gardening. 2) To better process the large amount of organic waste the campus produces, they will install an on-campus windrow composting system and organics sorting facility. Permitting restrictions limit the amount of organic matter allowed to be processed through the windrow system at any given time to 100 tons. 3) Since campus produces more organic waste than could be processed through the windrow system alone, they will also install supplemental vermicomposting plots. This working group (consisting of representatives from UCB and Sac State) just submitted another grant application through CalRecycle. Funding from this grant would be applied towards constructing the windrow composting system and the aquaponics (MTSS) system. This TGIF grant will supplement the CalRecycle grant for two main reasons: CalRecycle grants cannot fund student interns, and the group would like to begin working towards processing campus' organic matter regardless of the outcome of the other grant. Thus, through this TGIF project, we will be hiring three student interns and the developing a vermicomposting system.

Goals
  1. Begin processing some of campus's own organic waste in-house
  2. Improve campus's knowledge and understanding of their organic waste stream
  3. Develop outreach and educational programs with Richmond community farms and school

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.