There are several organic waste recycling systems in place at SCF. The most visible are the worm bin and the ground composting piles. Organic waste from local restaurants is collected on a weekly schedule and fed into these systems to create compost and worm castings for soil amendments. The entire process is extremely localized, using human-powered transportation and partnering with neighborhood restaurants located just blocks away from the farm.
Read on to find out more about the method and philosophy behind our composting efforts:
Resource Recovery: A Case Study in Eugene, Oregon
Skinner City Farm Vermiculture/Vermicomposting, Rotary-Barrel and Ground-Based Composting Project
This study describes the efforts of local community organizations and governmental agencies working together to reduce the urban organic waste stream in Eugene, Oregon. The project includes Skinner City Farm (SCF), the Center for Appropriate Transport (CAT), the Recycling and Solid Waste Department /City of Eugene Planning and Development and the City of Eugene Parks and Open Space. The goal to find alternatives to the disposal of organic waste in landfills has lead to a dynamic, multi-faceted opportunity for zero-waste.
Our highly urbanized and industrialized society is producing large quantities of organic waste and the costs associated with disposing of this waste continue to rise. There is increasing demand for disposal mechanisms to be environmentally compatible and sustainable. Earthworms in dense culture
and in large quantities can physically handle organic waste and at a fraction of the cost of conventional methods of waste management (e.g. landfill). The earthworm (vermiculture) industry has grown considerably in recent years, particularly in relation to its role in waste management. Composting has proven its worth in the creation of agricultural amendments.
A vermiculture/vermicomposting system at Skinner City Farm (a City owned Community Garden) commenced in 2000. Compost piles and rotary composters were added in 2004. The project uses organic restaurant waste to create garden soil amendments and to raise worms. It is designed to pursue broader principles of sustainability, specifically alternative transportation and organic gardening and to expand upon the idea that recycling of organic material has benefits and value to the community beyond the saving of landfill costs.
The unique beauty of this model project lies in its decentralized nature- local restaurant food waste transported by non-fossil fuel means, managed within a neighborhood, and utilized by neighborhood community gardens.