Presenter Information

David Korb, SUNY Geneseo

Submission Type

Poster

Start Date

22-4-2020 12:00 AM

Abstract

Composting is a sustainable way to alleviate the waste caused by food scraps that are discarded each year. Colleges, such as SUNY Geneseo have begun using compost systems to reduce our carbon footprint while also saving on both landfill fees and mulch and fertilizer expenses. One study reported that Dartmouth saved $11,400 through composting initiatives in 2002 (Calkins, 2002). Although composting has the potential to be economically and environmentally significant, large quantities of high energy food in a small area such as a compost pile are likely to attract animal foragers. Increased encounters between humans and wildlife may be a possibility as campuses continue to increase their use of compost. Studies have shown that removal of anthropogenic food sources such as dumps or compost piles can lead to rapid decreases in wild animal populations, indicating some populations can become highly dependent on these human- based food sources (Oro et al. 2013). Understanding the influence of composting on wildlife behavior and abundance, will benefit future efforts to increase sustainability efforts on campuses around the world.

Comments

Sponsored by Dr. Jennifer Apple

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Apr 22nd, 12:00 AM

370— Monitoring Wildlife Activity at the Campus Compost Pile

Composting is a sustainable way to alleviate the waste caused by food scraps that are discarded each year. Colleges, such as SUNY Geneseo have begun using compost systems to reduce our carbon footprint while also saving on both landfill fees and mulch and fertilizer expenses. One study reported that Dartmouth saved $11,400 through composting initiatives in 2002 (Calkins, 2002). Although composting has the potential to be economically and environmentally significant, large quantities of high energy food in a small area such as a compost pile are likely to attract animal foragers. Increased encounters between humans and wildlife may be a possibility as campuses continue to increase their use of compost. Studies have shown that removal of anthropogenic food sources such as dumps or compost piles can lead to rapid decreases in wild animal populations, indicating some populations can become highly dependent on these human- based food sources (Oro et al. 2013). Understanding the influence of composting on wildlife behavior and abundance, will benefit future efforts to increase sustainability efforts on campuses around the world.

 

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