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Warren Wilson College
Campus Box 6323
P.O. Box 9000
Asheville, NC 28815-9000


Please refer comments or questions about this website to Ellen Querin.

Composting at WWC

How We Do it: Here at Warren Wilson, we have a bin labeled compost in our cafeterias where we put all organic matter waste including fruit, vegetable, food and meat waste. Compost is collected from the cafeterias by the Recycling Crew and put into the GreenDrum. The GREENDRUM is a large rotating insulated drum that, when loaded with a good balance of carbon and nitrogen bearing substances, turns food waste into nutrient filled, highly beneficial compost.  The crew mixes the food material with wood chips and sawdust. After about 5 days in highly aerobic conditions at high temperatures (over 131F), compost (still immature) is unloaded and moved to a curing site where it sits for about 60-90 days. After that time, compost can be used as soil amendment in the garden and as mulch/fertilizer by the landscaping crew.

History of the Project: The GreenDrum project was started by former student Philip Shaw. Philip, with an unbridled determination to compost everything in sight, launched into a year long quest to improve composting at our school. Researching method after method, Philip finally found the perfect composter. One hitch: it cost $20,000. After much deliberation and collaboration with school administrators, Philip was able to negotiate the purchase of the Greendrum with the help of a generous grant.

Why We Do it: Composting reduces our waste significantly by not sending all of our food matter to the landfill.  We composted over 20 tons of food waste during the full year of 2006-2007.

How you can Do it: There are small compost tumblers (rotating composting containers) that you can buy or you can do a simple compost pile in you back yard; it just needs to me mixed weekly and supplemented with a good source of carbon like sawdust. Composting is a great method for making your own mulch for your garden or just for reducing your waste.