About the Project
Organic Waste Logistics was funded by Penn State's Sustainability Institute's Reinvention Fund at the Behrend campus in the amount of $4,180.
The first step in solving any problem is realizing there is one. Farmland is being lost to development and erosion, as a result peak soil is also being lost. Farmers are not replenishing the soil they use and we face an ever growing population which needs to be fed. All these factors create an unsustainable environment.
The goal of this project is to provide a solution to the ever-growing problem of food waste. According to the EPA, each year in the United States, 36 million tons of food is wasted. Instead of this food waste going into landfills, Penn State Behrend can compost it and turn it into organic fertilizer. With this organic fertilizer, we can improve regional, and possibly global, ecosystems by replacing conventional fertilizers with organic fertilizer. Conventional fertilizers contain many harmful environmental chemicals (like lead, mercury, nitrogen, and arsenic) which are leached away by the rain and end up in waterways and ecosystem. The project team has been collecting baseline data for the amount of organic waste that is coming from participating restaurants. Once all data has been collected we will present this information to a company that specializes in transforming organic waste into organic fertilizer in hope they can set up an operation in the Erie community.
- The project team has collected a baseline of organic waste from 3 local restaurants so far. In the fall, they plan to expand their data collection to other industries.
- The team would like to give a special thanks to Teresa's Italian Deli and Petra Restaurant in Erie, PA!