Caffeinated compost: More than 2,000 pounds of Miami's coffee grounds composted at Institute for Food farm

By Susan Meikle, university news and communications


Farm manager Lauren Wulker maintains the compost pile at Miami's Institute for Food farm. Compost helped provide a bountiful first harvest last summer. 

More than 2,000 pounds of used coffee grounds and filters, collected over the fall semester from various buildings on campus, are being turned into compost at Miami's new Institute for Food farm.

Coffee grounds and filters were collected weekly from buildings including Cole Service Building, Armstrong Student Center and Roudebush Hall.

About 100-200 pounds of grounds per week were collected during the academic year, said Shawnee Waters, sustainability coordinator in physical facilities and master’s student in the Institute for Sustainability and the Environment.

Waters implemented the project in August. Student Green Team member Hanna Gonce, junior mathematics and statistics and analytics double major, picks up the grounds and delivers them to the farm.

Waters plans to increase the coffee grounds collection locations to other buildings on the Oxford campus.

The chart below (provided by Waters) plots collection locations — which increased from three in August to seven buildings in December — and weight of grounds collected per week. 

Coffee Grounds Collection Fall Semester (Oxford Campus)