AEDC Receives Compost Grant

AEDC personnel who are captains and participants on the Green Team recently met to discuss their roles in the Compost at AEDC program made possible by an Air Force Innovation Grant. Pictured left to right is Steven Leply, Paul Wright, Tim White, Matt Duran, Nikki King, Glenda Perry, Donna Spry, Kraig Smith, Andy Escue, Brent Pewitt, Annie Clements, Clare Zisk, Craig Morris and Gary Frost. (Photo by Jaqueline Cowan)

AEDC personnel who are captains and participants on the Green Team recently met to discuss their roles in the Compost at AEDC program made possible by an Air Force Innovation Grant. Pictured left to right is Steven Leply, Paul Wright, Tim White, Matt Duran, Nikki King, Glenda Perry, Donna Spry, Kraig Smith, Andy Escue, Brent Pewitt, Annie Clements, Clare Zisk, Craig Morris and Gary Frost. (Photo by Jaqueline Cowan)

Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) employees can reduce their footprint on the environment through the Compost at AEDC program made possible through an Air Force Innovation Grant. Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment. This personal, passive (natural decomposition) compost program will help reduce the amount of compostable items delivered to the landfill from AEDC, as well as tipping fee costs. The idea was proposed by Annie Clements, a systems analyst and developer with the ATA Information Technology and Systems Department.
Clements recalled how she acquired her Tullahoma home-compost bin through the City of Tullahoma almost 20 years ago which was offered free to residents to divert compostable waste away from residential trash. She thought AEDC could benefit from a similar program because of the employee recycling efforts already in place.
Seventy-five Earth Machine compost bins were attained through the Innovation Grant program and they will be placed at up to 47 buildings at the Complex as more Green Team captains volunteer for the program.
According to Clements’ grant research, an employee generates a minimum of ¼ to ½ pounds of compostable waste each day at AEDC which computes to 156 tons of compost annually costing $7,300 in landfill tipping fees. In conjunction with cost savings in tipping fees, some other benefits projected in Clements’ research include diverting as much as 65 percent of compostable waste from the landfill. This diversion causes a reduction in landfill methane emissions by allowing aerobic decomposition. The resulting rich compost is available to employees participating in the program for gardening and landscaping.