Compost Program

    Because nutrient density starts and ends with the soil, the Compost Team works to institutionalize this ecologically sensible and time-honored tradition on campus.

    3-Bin System Composting

    Since the Campus Garden was founded in 2012, students have used permaculture methods that accelerate natural processes to create finished compost in 18 days. Their technique, which they teach in workshops for community members, can be easily replicated in backyards to reduce household organic waste.

    Students create a new 18-day compost pile at the campus garden.Students create a new 18-day compost pile at the campus garden.

    Aerated Static Pile Composting

    The Compost Team uses a small micro-bin to test the recipe composition for efficient composting in a large aerated static pile, in which a small fan blows oxygen into a pile to hasten its decomposition into finished compost. This method can accommodate a large volume of food scraps and offset some of the organic waste from the Dining Hall. The compost finishes in 30 days.


    The Compost Team promotes vermicomposting around campus, and even has a outdoor worm pit thermally regulated with a salvaged cooler, buried in the ground. 

    Restoring the Soil Food Web

    The Food Initiative is a campus effort focused on teaching community members how to prepare nourishing food grown locally and sustainably. It provides hands-on opportunities for individuals to work with produce grown in soil amended with rich campus compost. 

    The Compost Team prepares a batch of popcorn with healthy fats for an educational movie night at the Food Lab.The Compost Team prepares a batch of popcorn with healthy fats for an educational movie night at the eastern shore Food Lab.

    Soil Food Web Education

    The Compost Team screens films, coordinates field trips to learn about composting systems, and is working to establish more educational demonstration examples of soil-building techniques in the Campus Garden.

    Students representing diverse majors are involved in the campus composting effort, and have an eye toward becoming self-sufficient in operational costs, helping to strengthen environmental and financial stewardship of the college. For inquiries about the campus composting effort, contact Shane Brill ’03 M’11. To learn more about the Compost Team, contact Grace Kelley ( and Hannah McCarthy '23.

    A screening of Dirt! The Movie in the Food Lab gets builds excitement about the importance of composting.A screening of Dirt! The Movie in the Food Lab builds excitement about the importance of composting.

    Dirt: The Movie!students are ready to ramp up campus composting after watching Dirt! The Movie 


    Compost Team Officers 

    • Presidents: Grace Kelly and Hannah McCarthy  

    • Vice President: Amity Harrington 

    • Treasurer: Belle Leiphart

    • Secretary: Aryanna Horan

    • Historian: Rory Miller

    Food Waste Web

    Compost on Campus

    Bring your food scraps to the compost collection area at the Campus Garden to get blended into our demonstration compost site used for on-campus soil regeneration by the Compost Team.

    Compost at Home

    In its effort to lead Washington College in becoming a zero waste campus, the Eastern Shore Food Lab offers training and resources for individuals who want to start composting at home.

    Join Us!

    Compost Team

    Join the Compost Team to get involved in reducing waste and restoring soil at Washington College.