Summer ’23 Updates: FRS Course Planning, Tours, SCRAPPY in the News

Happy first week of classes to the Princeton community!

In celebration of the start of the ’23-24 academic year, we look back at the summer happenings at the S.C.R.A.P. Lab:


After a taking a break from mid-May through June, the S.C.R.A.P. Lab was back in operation on a limited schedule after July 4th through the end of August. We processed on average a half of a ton per week (about half of what we process during the busier academic semesters).


The rest of the time was focused on research and course planning tied to our DEP compostables testing grant. The next phase of our grant studying bioplastic composting will happen this fall in conjunction with FRS 115: Decomposing the Science of Composting: How To Turn Waste into Resource. In preparation, we met with Prof. Zhang and her lab team to test out the sampling protocol for the class:

Dr. Shannon Haynes of the Zhang Lab trials gas sampling techniques
Locations where gas samples will be collected (three ports along the vessel)
Gas sampling from the exhaust pipe
The tube above is connected to a Picarro device which tracks real-time continuous measurements of the exhaust gases
Picarro output: Spikes in Nitrous Oxide, Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Ammonia and Water Vapor tend to occur right after aeration of the vessel. We will report our findings on the significance of these trends by the end of the semester


We also had a tour with the US Composting Council and engaged a group of first-year students for a work day.

Giving a tour to participants in a Compost Operations Training Course hosted in New Jersey. “SCRAPPY” was one stop of several that the group made of local facilities in the Garden State in early August.
Photo courtesy of the Compost Research & Education Foundation


Waste360 recently profiled the S.C.R.A.P. Lab in a piece about broader efforts happening in the Garden State to advance organics recycling: How Princeton is Taking Compost to the Next Level


Stay tuned for more research updates later this month!

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