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CAFES Students

Compost Project

The Cal Poly Compost Project is an innovative, interdisciplinary collaboration of faculty, staff, students and external partners.


Cal Poly Compost Project

The Cal Poly Compost Project is an initiative of the CAFES Center for Sustainability dedicated to developing expertise in the realm of composting and related activities. We are committed to education and increasing understanding of the process of converting organic materials into a nutrient-rich, biologically-active amendment used to increase the health and productivity of soil systems. Composting offers untapped potential to reduce the ecological footprint of our current waste management industry and of agricultural operations of all scales. Our activities foster student and community interest and involvement in this process. We work closely with the Agricultural Operations Department to help the Cal Poly Compost Unit achieve its potential as a state-of-the-art demonstration site accessible for public education – as through our collaboration on the annual professional development training in composting. Through a practical, learn by doing approach, we facilitate sustainability efforts by promoting the role composting has in advancing environmental, economic and social well-being.

The Cal Poly Compost Project began with funding from the USDA's Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program in 2011 and continues with on-going support from the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust. Current funding supports student internships, community education and a week-long professional development compost training. The highly successful training is offered on a bi-annual basis. Information on community compost tours and workshops for small-scale and home composters is provided on the Compost Activities page.

Student and community involvement in the Compost Project is ongoing through demonstrations, tours, and campus initiatives. To learn more about how to get started composting, please click the link below to view the fact sheet produced by Cal Poly's Compost Project students:

What Is Composting? Information Sheet

Cal Poly Compost Training

The previous five-day Compost Training took place March 24th - 28th, 2014 on the Cal Poly campus.
The training was comprised of a 4-day Professional Certification Series in large-scale composting, and a 1-day Industry/Grower Symposium for composters and growers at all scales of production. For more information, please visit the Compost Training page.