Carbon Footprint of a University Compost Facility: Case Study of Cornell Farm Services
Schwarz, Mary; Bonhotal, Jean
Cornell University Farm Services collects recyclable organics from various locations around the University including the dining halls and other food service establishments, the veterinary hospital, satellite dairy cattle, horse and chicken farms, cropping operations, and greenhouses. In 2013, they diverted approximately 6714 metric tons of organic residuals to the compost facility. A questionnaire was developed to get information from the facility in order to calculate greenhouse gas emissions for each step in this process including savings from carbon sequestration through compost use. It was found that in 2013, Cornell’s compost facility emitted 104.6 metric tons carbon equivalent (MTCE) and saved 201.4 MTCE through compost use for a total carbon footprint savings of 96.7 MTCE/year (carbon negative). This equates to 0.0154 MTCE/tonne feedstock emitted and 0.03 MTCE saved through compost use for a total carbon footprint savings of 0.0146 MTCE/tonne fresh matter. These values are specific to this facility, but the questionnaire and calculations can be used by compost facilities to calculate the carbon footprint of composting.
May 22, 2018
composting; carbon footprint; compost facility
Previously Published As
Taylor and Francis online