You often see compost bins outside local restaurants, behind the scenes in dining halls, and in the backyards of homeowners, but have you ever thought about how they get there? What planning goes into implementing a composting program and how an organization decides what kind of composting system to use? I can tell you that it takes a bit more than just putting a green bin out near the trash can. Through the freshman Research Experience and Apprenticeship Program (REAP), I spent the summer of 2021 with the Regional Compost Working Group investigating community composting in the University of New Hampshire, Durham, Lee, and Oyster River Cooperative School District area. Internal data collections, survey results, interviews, and discussions led the Working Group to conclude that each entity should hire and/or renegotiate existing contracts with commercial composting and biodigestion companies for food waste diversion. They should use each of the other entities as resources for waste education and waste reduction outreach, and continue to investigate potential opportunities for collaboration on waste management in the future.

Publication Date

Spring 2022

Journal Title

Inquiry Journal


Jennifer Andrews


Durham, NH: Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, University of New Hampshire

Document Type