April 03, 2013

Maggie Bailey

Professor Receives Grant to Expand SLU Composting

Mildred Mattfeldt-Beman, Ph.D., has received $35,000 from the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District as part of a grant to reduce waste created by the University.

Millie Mattfeldt-Beman, Ph.D.
Mildred Mattfeldt-Beman, Ph.D.

Mildred Mattfeldt-Beman, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, has received a $35,000 grant from the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District. Her grant is titled "Start to Actively Recycle Today III."

The primary goal of START III is to expand on SLU's Department of Nutrition and Dietetics' current composting operations to include the Food Innovation Center (FIC), with the goal of composting 21,590 pounds of solid food waste, paper and landscaping waste using Earth Tubs, NatureMill composters, traditional composting and vermiculture. START III will also explore mechanisms for breaking down compostable dinnerware to increase composting potential. The total estimated impact on reducing the quantity of waste is approximately 10.8 tons. Cost savings for solid waste diversion is $324 the pilot year. The project also includes extensive training and education for both the University and the community.

Composting is a viable way to decrease organic materials from the waste stream. While there are some studies of safety and efficacy of municipal operations and good directions for home composting, there is little information on small- to medium-sized operations such as those that may be used by neighborhoods, educational institutions or restaurants. START III will examine the most effective ways of municipal solid waste diversion.

About Doisy College of Health Sciences
Long a leader in educating health professionals, Saint Louis University offered its first degree in an allied health profession in 1929. Today, the Doisy College of Health Sciences houses 17 diverse programs and offers health care education at the baccalaureate, master's, doctoral and professional levels. The college supports the growth of research opportunities for students and faculty and is committed to improving health care through research.

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