You are here

Large-Scale Food Waste Composting (Cancelled)

Project History

  • 12/18/2020

    Attached are the meeting minutes from the Zero Waste SWATeam on 12/18/2020. The following agenda items were discussed:

  • 12/4/2020

    Attached are the meeting minutes and chat log of the Zero Waste SWATeam on 12/4/2020. 

    The following were discussed:


This project was to fund the development of a large-scale food waste composting facility on the University’s property, in order to compost food waste from University dining halls.  This project was precipitated by the commitment made by the University in the 2010 Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP): “The University will commit to… a large‐scale food composting project by 2012.”

The new facility would initially receive and process all acceptable pre- and post-consumer food waste from six dining halls on campus, as well as supplementary landscape waste as necessary carbon bulking material from Campus Grounds.  The finished product would provide rich compost material to agricultural projects on campus such as the Sustainable Student Farm, as well as to campus grounds and athletic fields. 

This project was initiated at the request of students, via Associate Chancellor Pradeep Khanna.  The Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) provided $15,000 for a Feasibility Study, and the Office of Sustainability supplemented the cost with an additional $7,400.  The study ran from August 2012 to April 2012.  A grant from DCEO was requested in January 2012, using the feasibility study draft report.  The DCEO grant does not allow for administrative overhead, and requires a 50% match.  F&S secured $200K from DCEO, $250K from the SSC, and about $40K from the F&S Executive Director (Jack Dempsey).  Matt Edmonson in F&S Capital Programs determined another $242K is needed to implement the project.  Tim Hoss determined approximately $58K per year would be needed to operate the facility.


Due to various issues (see report file) and viable alternatives – such as the Anaerobic Digester, the Enviropures, and the Vermicomposting at the Sustainable Student Farm – this project was cancelled by Morgan Johnston, after consultation with SSC and campus leadership.

Project Team

  • Project Leader:

    Tim Hoss

    Team Members:

    • Morgan Johnston
    • Amelia Neptune
    • Tracy Osby
    • Jack Dempsey


  • Proposed May 15, 2010
    Proposed by 2010 iCAP
    Cancelled December 15, 2012
    Cancelled by Morgan Johnston


Project Location(s)

View larger location(s) map