Faculty and staff members at Ferrum College are working together to restart the College’s composting program, which will eventually encompass a work study program and a course practicum for students.
The masterminds behind the endeavor are Aladdin Campus Dining Food Services Director Levi Briggs and Ferrum’s Assistant Professor of Biology & Horticulture Clay Britton, who also manages the College’s hydroponics lettuce program. Aladdin partners with Ferrum to provide meals on campus, which includes purchasing produce from the hydroponics program.
“Clay and I met a few times, mostly concerning the hydroponics program and Aladdin’s commitment to buy produce through that program,” explained Briggs. “During one of our discussions, we broached the subject of the composters. Clay wanted to find a way to get them running again. I thought it would be great for Dining Services to partner with the College to start something important – reducing landfill waste and maintaining sustainability.”
Several years ago, Ferrum College began a composting program; however, lack of time and resources caused the program to shut down.
Two large composters are located at the College’s Pole Barn near the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum, where much of Ferrum’s recycling is stored. In early September, Briggs spent about a week of his personal time after work cleaning out the barn so that the composters could be operational again.
Aladdin’s staff is overseeing the composting process and has partnered with Elegant Woodworks’ local custom cabinet shops which provides the saw dust used in the composters. Although the plans are still in the works, Briggs and Britton envision the compost being used at Titmus Agricultural Farm and around campus in flower beds, herb gardens, and more.
Learn more about Ferrum’s agricultural sciences program here.