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CAFES Students

Compost Project

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

Cal Poly Compost Project

The Cal Poly Compost Project was 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 fostered student and community interest and involvement in this process. We worked 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 development of a professional development training in composting. Through a practical, learn by doing approach, we facilitated 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 continued through 2015 thanks to generous support from the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust. The project supported student research and internships, community education and a week-long professional development compost training. Although the CP Compost Project itself has ended, its mission continues to be carried on by its sub-programs and partners, including the Cal Poly Compost Unit, Cal Poly's Zero Waste program, and the Center for Sustainability's soil health initiatives. Please see below for links to these programs.


To learn more about how to get started composting, please click the following link to view the fact sheet produced by Cal Poly's Compost Project interns: What Is Composting? Information Sheet

To view some of the information presented at the last Cal Poly Compost Training and Industry/Grower Symposium, please visit the Compost Training page

To find out how to purchase Cal Poly Certified Organic Compost for your farm or home garden, please go to the Cal Poly Compost Unit page

To learn more about Cal Poly's Zero Waste campus initiatives, please go to Cal Poly Waste Management

For more about the Center for Sustainability's soil health initiatives, please go to Soil Health Dimensions