Looking forward to 2021

Dear friends of the S.C.R.A.P. Lab,

Thank you for your loyal following during this unusual year of hardship and sorrow due to a global pandemic and acts of national racial injustice. Usually the last ComPOSTer of the year serves as an ode to the past year, but I think we can all agree that we rather leave 2020 behind. Still, with the New Year only several hours away, the ComPOSTer takes a moment to look back on the (brief) composting highlights of 2020, but more importantly, what is to come in the New Year. We are optimistic about 2021!

2020 Year in Review

January – March : Started off the year strong, just where we left off after our first full calendar year of operations. We converted 14 tons of food scraps into nutrient-rich compost before COVID-19 forced our facility to shutdown early in Mid-March.

April: Debuted a new video highlighting the behind the scenes processes and the people involved in the journey from food scrap to compost


June: Began the study of compost application on campus farmland

August – December:

  • Launched a faculty Q&A blog series led by Wesley Wiggins ’21
  • Began site planning for SCRAPPY’s new location along Washington Rd. south of Lake Carnegie

Other 2020 Highlights:

The S.C.R.A.P Lab was featured in…

  • A combined 10 presentations, webinars and tours
  • Campus as Lab projects:
    • Faculty-sponsored research projects: 3 active
    • Junior papers/senior theses: 2 completed
    • Student course projects: 1 completed


Re-construction of our composting facility at our new home will begin early next year with operations expected to resume in Spring 2021. We will continue to engage our students as operational assistants, albeit under new social distancing and other covid-related guidelines. Otherwise we plan to pick-up where we started on our operational and research efforts, including:

  • Expanded compostables collection in the food gallery of Frist Campus Center
  • Integration of research efforts with operational testing of different feedstocks and recipes
  • Testing of new food scraps collection and drop-off systems to expand reach across campus

See you in the New Year!