Although this project involves the collaboration of many staff across multiple departments, this page highlights the main operational team responsible for the weekly loading and off-loading of the composting system, event coordination & bin monitoring, and small bucket pick-ups:
Gina Talt ’15, Food Systems Project Specialist; Office of Sustainability
Gina is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the composting system, compiling and analyzing data to inform a feasibility study, leading communication and engagement efforts around the project, and working closely with the Campus as Lab program to develop and support related coursework and research opportunities for staff, faculty, and students.
Graduate Compost Coordinator
Name: Sabrina Fields
Concentration: First year Public Affairs PhD student in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy cluster at School of Public and International Affairs
Why you decided to join the team: When I first got to Princeton, I was taken aback by how much food waste was accumulated during my summer orientation even though most of the meals were served with “compostable” dishware and utensils. After finding more information on the S.C.R.A.P. Lab, I knew I wanted to get involved and be a part of expanding composting across campus.
Compost Concierge Driver
Name: Victoria Koretsky ’26
Hometown: Rockville, MD
Why you decided to join the team: Climate change is one of, if not the biggest, impending international crises. I want to work with the S.C.R.A.P. Lab not only to find my individual role in the battle against climate change, but to improve Princeton’s sustainability as a world leader.
Name: Marissa Bornn ’25
Concentration: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Hometown: St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Why you decided to join the team: In the US, one pound of food per capita is wasted every day. As an environmentalist, I’d like to do everything I can to help reduce how much food is wasted in my life and community here at Princeton and the S.C.R.A.P Lab is the perfect sustainable way to do so!
Name and Class Year: Caleb Shim ’24
Concentration: Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Hometown: New York
Why you decided to join the team: I wanted to do something meaningful on campus, and I felt that being part of the S.C.R.A.P. lab would be a great opportunity to do so.
Name: Ayo Ogunsanya ’26
Concentration: Computer Science
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Why you decided to join the team: I was really curious about how large scale composting is done at Princeton and how I can make an impact in helping push it forward!
Name: Bailey White ’25
Concentration: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Hometown: Frederick, Maryland
Why you decided to join the team: It’s estimated that, in the US, 30-40% of our food supply is wasted. Princeton has an obligation to be a model of sustainability; therefore, it is imperative that we manage our own food waste responsibly. I joined this project because I want to contribute to fostering a completely sustainable future on our campus!
Past Assistants & Alumni
Name and Class Year: Tristen Godfrey ’25
Concentration: Computer Science (BSE)
Hometown: Spartanburg, SC
Why you decided to join the team: I wanted to get more involved with campus sustainability efforts, and SCRAP lab seemed like the perfect fit for me!
Name and Class Year: Emma Mohrmann ‘24
Concentration: VIS/practice of art
Hometown: St. Louis
Why you decided to join the team: I am really interested in sustainability and wanted to learn more about composting and sustainability at Princeton. I am really interested in gardening, the outdoors, and like to work with my hands and wanted to be involved in this here.
Name and Class Year: Adira Smirnov, ’23
Concentration: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Hometown: Sharon, MA
Why you decided to join the team: I’m excited to work with S.C.R.A.P. Lab to help make campus more sustainable and gain hands-on experience in larger-scale composting.
Name : Joe Kawalec ’21
Major: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Hometown: East Brunswick, NJ
Why I was interested in assisting: I wanted to get some hands on experience with data collection and composting, as well as get involved with a great sustainable initiative on our campus.
Name: Roy Kim ’22
Hometown: New York City
Why I was interested in assisting: I wanted to help steward the incredible resource of food scraps that we have on campus by turning it to beautiful compost.
Name Reese Knopp ’24
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Northport, NY
Why I was interested in assisting: I’ve always been interested in environmentalism and sustainability, so the S.C.R.A.P. lab has provided me with a great opportunity to participate in practical efforts that make a difference on campus, while also learning a lot about food waste mitigation and composting practices.
Name and Class Year: Chloé Vettier, GS
Concentration: French Literature
Hometown: Paris, France
Why you decided to join the team: because I want to support sustainable initiatives on campus – and I really miss my composter in Paris!
Name : Wesley Wiggins ’21
Hometown: Washington, DC
Why I was interested in assisting: To further participate in helping the campus become greener and environmentally-friendly. I also want to learn more about sustainable practices and meet new people
Name : Kiley Coates ’20
Hometown: Fort Mill, SC
Why I was interested in assisting: Projects like the S.C.R.A.P. Lab relate heavily to my studies. As a Geosciences concentrator, I want to be able to help solve environmental issues and create a society where we live more sustainably. The S.C.R.A.P. Lab is a great step to not only reduce food waste on campus, but model how this could be applied in other settings.
Name: Milan Eldridge ’20
Major: Art & Archaeology
Hometown: Dayton, Ohio / Louisville, Kentucky
Why I was interested in assisting: I have really enjoyed being involved in Pink House [Forbes College’s residential social sustainability living community] what I could do to personally be more sustainable. Among many things, this led me to become more interested in composting on a larger scale and I wanted to help convert our campus’s food waste into a useful material. I am excited to help make our university more environmentally friendly while meeting like-minded peers!
Name and Class Year: Julia Herrle, ’19*23
Concentration: MPA, International Relations
Hometown: Wexford, PA
Why you decided to join the team: I’m passionate about improving food security and sustainability of food systems. Reducing food waste is an important part of this, and I’m excited to learn more about composting at Princeton
Name and Class Year: Ishanya Anthapur ’20
Concentration: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Why you decided to join the team: Working at the S.C.R.A.P. Lab seemed like a great way to learn about the food circulation at Princeton and to reckon with how much extra food waste we generate and what we’re doing to offset that
Name: K. Stiefel ’20
Hometown: Flemington, NJ
Why I was interested in assisting: For a while I’ve been interested in individual-scale composting, but I’m interested in seeing how the process is effected on larger scales as well. This is the perfect opportunity.
Name: Daniel Tjondro ’20
Major: Civil & Environmental Engineering
Hometown: Queens, NY
Why I was interested in assisting: To reduce food waste on campus by repurposing it into nutrient-rich soil.
Name : Helena Van Brande ’19
Major: Comparative Literature
Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CA
Why I was interested in assisting: First, as someone interested in farming, composting has always intrigued me. More pressing, however, is that food waste is a terrible part of the food environment on the Princeton campus and also in the food industry at large. One way to ameliorate it is through compost, so that it can be used other than for human consumption, and the S.C.R.A.P. lab does this much faster than traditional composting. I am looking forward to learning more and being a part of the team!
Name : Henry Wietfeldt ’22
Major: Physics (prospective)
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Why I was interested in assisting: To help the environment!
Name : Kaylin Xu ’22
Hometown: Vancouver, Canada
Why I was interested in assisting: I care about sustainability and I also work in the dining hall, so I am just following the compost trail to the S.C.R.A.P. lab.
Name : Tatijana Stewart ’22
Hometown: Ogden, Utah
Why I was interested in assisting: Working the S.C.R.A.P. lab is a great way to learn about an important landfill-diversion process and contribute to sustainability efforts on campus.
Name : Vincent Yang ’22
Major: Electrical Engineering or Computer Science
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Why I was interested in assisting: I wanted to work a job that had a meaningful impact on the world. In the S.C.R.A.P. lab operational assistant job, I found an opportunity to work for the benefit of the community, helping to convert Princeton University’s food waste to compost. I also felt that because the S.C.R.A.P. lab project was a brand-new job opportunity, it would feel like working at a start-up where all my colleagues would be enthusiastic about the work and everyone would be open to new ideas that help to improve the project.