Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.16
Liaison Matthew Liesch
Submission Date May 13, 2024

STARS v2.2

Central Michigan University
IN-47: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Don Long
Recycling & Composting
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Central Michigan University Composting Program: Full Circle Effect

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:
Central Michigan University engages in a truly innovative composting program. Many institutions have employed composting programs that focus solely on diverting waste from a landfill. CMU however, takes a more holistic approach, resulting in a full circle, closed system effect.

Currently, organics account for 11.28% of all waste generated at CMU in a twelve month period and 33.5% of CMU's total diversion rate. With over one third of all diverted materials being compostable, CMU is committed to utilize organic waste as a valuable resource.

Each week, as compost bins are filled, the recycling coordinator Don Long empties receptacles and transports them to a local Michigan-based business, known as Morgan's Composting. Once at Morgans, CMU's organic waste is unloaded in a specific are, designated for the university. There, CMU's organic waste is transformed into custom compost, known as Dairy Doo. In order to customize the fertilizing product, Morgan's takes soil samples around CMU's grounds to see what our soil is in need of. They then, mix in specific ratios of organic materials, nutrients and minerals, to yield the most useful product.

Once the Dairy Doo has decomposed into the desired product, CMU buys back our own converted food waste to utilize as fertilizer on campus. Not only does this practice create a full circle, closed system for dining services food waste, this process positively impacts a local Michigan business, thus increasing the economic prosperity of a rural area in Michigan and enhancing the livelihood of Morgan's many employees. In essence, CMU's composting program epitomizes sustainability, as defined by AASHE.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
EPA 2020 College Partnership of the Year

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.