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  • UVA Dining

Tour of Black Bear Compost : From Trash to Treasure

Many people are excited to learn that UVA Dining composts all of its waste in its three dining halls: Newcomb, Observatory Hill and Runk. Since partnering with Black Bear Compost UVA has diverted over 1200 tons of organic material from the landfill. That's over 400 elephants worth of waste!

Today the Office for Sustainability and our Sustainability Coordinator took a tour with Eric, founder of Black Bear. We got to see compost from Newcomb Dining Hall on the processing slab. Read on to learn some cool facts we learned from Eric about compost:

~For the first 15 days new piles of waste must be kept at an internal temperature of 130 degrees and turned at least 5 times.

~From start to finish the commercial composting process takes about 6 months

~Before the final product is ready to be sold as compost it must be sorted through a fine filter to remove any items that have not yet been composted all the way. This produces a high quality, final compost.

One of the biggest challenges Eric has working with UVA is contamination. We have the responsibility of making sure we don't contaminate the compost with non-organic materials (not from the nature). Take this quiz to test your compost knowledge. Also check out our page on how to compost here.

Look out for compost bins in West Range, Fine Arts and other locations and make sure to stop and sort your waste!

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