What is the value of food scraps, paper towels and napkins? What if we could transform more of these everyday materials into rich, fertile soil? We can!

At Laney College, a new “Scraps to Soil” initiative launched to boost campus composting — so we can all help turn everyday food scraps & paper into valuable dirt! Recently concluded in Spring 2012, the initiative encouraged students, staff, and faculty to turn food and paper “waste” into valuable soil for local farms, as well as for the campus garden (located between the Bistro and the Lake Merritt estuary channel). Green food scrap bins will continue to be available to use in the student cafeteria and at the campus Bistro — so everyone can throw their leftover food scraps in the green bins around campus!


When we put foodscraps, paper napkins, plants, yard trimmings, and sawdust into the trash, we lose the opportunity to turn them into valuable community resources. Landfills put a heavy strain on local government budgets and our natural environment. These valuable materials however, when diverted from the landfill, can be turned into soil for growing local food, creating green jobs, and supporting healthy environments.


Peralta’s Sustainability Manager Charles Neal has vowed to work with Laney’s staff, faculty, and student leaders to continue the college’s composting program, which has become an official initiative of the district’s Office of Sustainability.  Resources permitting, initiative leaders plan to explore other areas on campus where food scrap collection and composting could be initiated. Over the Summer 2012 session, Neal’s intern Sergio Costa plans to work with the student compost design contest winner Ahema Adarkwa to disseminate her artwork in the student café and around nearby buildings and corridors. In late August, one of Laney’s culinary arts students, Morgan Rockwell, plans to re-convene members of the composting initiative to work out some of the kinks in the program, and ensure that it continues to succeed over the 2012-2013 academic year.

For more info, contact: Corrine Van Hook, corrine@baylocalize.org / (510) 834-0420

The Scraps to Soil initiative was a joint collaboration between Rooted in Resilience (formerly Bay Localize), Habitile Living Wall Systems, Laney College, Natural Logic, and Sustainable Peralta, funded in part through StopWaste.org.