Title

Reducing Wasted Food through Improving Composting Techniques

Author(s)

J'Den O'NealFollow

School Name

Center for Advanced Technical Studies

Grade Level

11th Grade

Presentation Topic

Environmental Science

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Abstract

Americans waste more food than any other country in the world with roughly thirty to forty percent of food waste being directly linked to the entire U.S food supply. What doesn’t help this problem is there is a large depletion of topsoil in the Corn Belt located in the midwestern region of the United States. If more Americans begin composting then we can fight the depletion of topsoil by incorporating easy compost rotating techniques. To test the simplicity of the experiment three two-gallon buckets were used in conjunction with compost safe ingredients including leaves, coffee grounds, waste potatoes, and distilled water. During the experiment each bin had its own requirements of how it shall be rotated, Bin 1 being the only bin that did not encounter rotation whereas Bin 2 had a much more vigorous rotation schedule, and Bin 3 was only lightly rotated. Next, heat, pH, and humidity were regularly measured, later followed by tracking the soil moisture to help measure the decomposition rate of each bin. Moreover, Bin 2 encountered the highest peak of humidity whereas Bin 1 had the lowest humidity values. Bin 3 had the highest average temperature with 38.77° being the highest average. During the peak of the experiment Bin 2 started to grow invertebrates such as fungi and earthworms; the increased humidity levels and consistent medial heat levels allowed for Bin 2 to support smaller forms of life which aided in the decomposition of the fresh organic matter. Bin 1 did not have optimal results because it had the lowest average of heat and did not produce significant values of humidity. Bin 1 and Bin 3 had identical values of pH with 7.9 being the common value between the two bins, but Bin 2 had the highest value holding an average of 8.2. This helps support the hypothesis that if more Americans begin composting then we can fight the depletion of topsoil by incorporating easy compost rotating techniques. What is upcoming in this experiment is building a tumbling device that can hold the two gallon buckets and be self rotating rather than using manual rotation. Using the same recipe is intended for all future experiments but also using a compost accelerator solution to help increase the decomposition rate of each bucket. Lastly, measuring volume is going to be a new unit used to show the effectiveness of each compost bucket; this will help to prove how crucial rotating is when composting.

Location

HSS 215

Start Date

4-2-2022 9:45 AM

Presentation Format

Oral Only

Group Project

No

COinS
 
Apr 2nd, 9:45 AM

Reducing Wasted Food through Improving Composting Techniques

HSS 215

Americans waste more food than any other country in the world with roughly thirty to forty percent of food waste being directly linked to the entire U.S food supply. What doesn’t help this problem is there is a large depletion of topsoil in the Corn Belt located in the midwestern region of the United States. If more Americans begin composting then we can fight the depletion of topsoil by incorporating easy compost rotating techniques. To test the simplicity of the experiment three two-gallon buckets were used in conjunction with compost safe ingredients including leaves, coffee grounds, waste potatoes, and distilled water. During the experiment each bin had its own requirements of how it shall be rotated, Bin 1 being the only bin that did not encounter rotation whereas Bin 2 had a much more vigorous rotation schedule, and Bin 3 was only lightly rotated. Next, heat, pH, and humidity were regularly measured, later followed by tracking the soil moisture to help measure the decomposition rate of each bin. Moreover, Bin 2 encountered the highest peak of humidity whereas Bin 1 had the lowest humidity values. Bin 3 had the highest average temperature with 38.77° being the highest average. During the peak of the experiment Bin 2 started to grow invertebrates such as fungi and earthworms; the increased humidity levels and consistent medial heat levels allowed for Bin 2 to support smaller forms of life which aided in the decomposition of the fresh organic matter. Bin 1 did not have optimal results because it had the lowest average of heat and did not produce significant values of humidity. Bin 1 and Bin 3 had identical values of pH with 7.9 being the common value between the two bins, but Bin 2 had the highest value holding an average of 8.2. This helps support the hypothesis that if more Americans begin composting then we can fight the depletion of topsoil by incorporating easy compost rotating techniques. What is upcoming in this experiment is building a tumbling device that can hold the two gallon buckets and be self rotating rather than using manual rotation. Using the same recipe is intended for all future experiments but also using a compost accelerator solution to help increase the decomposition rate of each bucket. Lastly, measuring volume is going to be a new unit used to show the effectiveness of each compost bucket; this will help to prove how crucial rotating is when composting.