UNH Compost Operation

compost pile

The UNH Composting Facility is a collaborative effort among several UNH partners.  It was initiated in the early 2000's as a partnership of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, Office of Sustainability (within COLSA at that time), NH Agricultural Experiment Station and UNH Dining Services.  It has undergone upgrades and expansion to provide an efficient operation supporting the effective management and utilization of nutrients and enhancement of soil health.  It provides opportunities for teaching, research and outreach on sustainable reuse of farm and food wastes, and is thereby consistent with COLSA/NHAES's regional and national leadership in sustainable agriculture and food systems, and our network of partnerships to maximize impacts and benefits to our stakeholders.

The resulting compost is used as a soil amendment to maintain fertility and tilth of the NHAES/COLSA/UNH forage fields, the strong majority of which are certified organic and therefore rely on manure and compost applications.

Ingredients for the composting operation include NHAES/COLSA dairy and equine bedding and manure, food and bakery waste from UNH Dining Services, and leaves and grass clippings from UNH Grounds and Roads operations.  Importantly, our composted materials make use of pulped pre- and post-consumer food wastes from the UNH dining halls, an innovative and sustainable practice that productively diverts in excess of 25,000 pounds per month of material which would otherwise go directly into the Durham waste stream.  Funding and labor for the operation comes from NHAES/College of Life Sciences and Agriculture and UNH Dining Services, with several additional campus partners including the UNH Sustainability Academy, Provost Office, Parent's Association and President's Office.