Clemson Organics Recovery’s dedication to education, innovation, and sustainability has made it a leading compost program in the southeast. Clemson’s program began as a student initiative and has expanded into a multi-departmental effort to capture organic waste from dining halls, sports arenas, academic buildings, and student housing. The program offers valuable industry-level learning opportunities to students and other community members and is a resource for colleges and universities looking to start or improve their yard and food waste recycling program. Education, innovation, and sustainability are core values of Clemson’s program and are vital to its continued success.
Clemson’s composting facility, Cherry Crossing Research Center, is both a test bed for new ideas and an established facility that is defining best practices for university composting. The scale and management structure of universities, like Clemson, can control the type of materials collected and the way they are processed, which offers a unique opportunity to capture and repurpose large amounts of organic waste.
During the fall semester of 2019, Clemson University collected and composted approximately 635,000 pounds of compostable products such as food waste, paper towels, and compostable wares. Diverting organic waste from landfill reduces Clemson’s environmental footprint while providing economic and social benefits to the university and surrounding community.
Clemson Organics Recovery is seeking partnerships with industry, universities, and faculty or student research projects to expedite the expansion and advancement of Clemson’s programinto a new facility that can accommodate post-consumer collections and provide a broader range of outreach and education services. Partners would have an opportunity to collaborate with Clemson’s composting team and utilize Cherry Crossing’s resources to test new ideas and technology.