Vermicomposting Pilot Project: in the Life Sciences Center
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This research study took place at Dalhousie University on the Studley Campus in the Life Sciences Center (LSC). The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of using vermicomposting, or worm composting, as a method of waste diversion from landfills and as an educational tool for students, staff and faculty. Other objectives included determining if the LSC had adequate composting collection bins. The methodology is made up a triangulation of a student and faculty questionnaire, two Dalhousie University staff interviews and a vermicomposting pilot project. As a form of pre-work, a literature review was done to better understand other vermicomposting projects that have taken at universities across Canada. Students and faculty believe that composting is an important activity to pursue but many do not compost while in the LSC. It was also found that there is support for vermicomposting projects in the LSC and addition of extra organic waste collection bins. Currently at Dalhousie University there is only one compost collection bin per 200 students. Finally, the vermicomposting pilot project found that worms can be kept in the LSC and that they can thrive there. It is clear from the survey results that not enough people are composting in the LSC, this means that the compost facilities must be improved, regardless of whether this involves the use of vermicomposting or not. By the implementation of a small-scale vermicomposting system in offices and departmental lounges, composting in the LSC would become participatory in nature. The conclusions resulting from this study are that vermicomposting in the LSC is feasible and that there is support for it, that vermicomposters can be used as educational tools to teach people about the benefits of composting and that the LSC does in fact require more compost collection bins.