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Question Description

  • Introduction
    • Explain the subject of the report.
    • Explain the purpose of the report.
    • Provide background.
    • Describe sources of information.
    • Indicate scope of the report.
    • Summarize the most significant findings.
    • Briefly summarize your recommendations.
    • Explain the organization of the report.
    • Define key terms.
  • Methods
    • What tools did you use to conduct your research? Here, talk about your primary research. For example: “To investigate Florida Tech students’ knowledge about ____, we conducted a survey of (#) students, asking questions such as ______. (For the complete survey, see Appendix A.) Interviews with _____, ____, and _____ gave us insight into _______.”
    • Be specific about what was accomplished.
    • Justify your methodological choices.
  • Findings/Results: What did you learn from your primary research that informs your summary of recommendations?
  • Discussion and Recommendations (implications of what you learned and changes that need to be implemented). Address any limitations (small sample size, lack of response by county/school officials).
  • Conclusion: final paragraph summarizing your recommendation and providing a call to action

* My teammates did the Introduction, Methods, and Findings Result. I need you to write 4 pages about Discussion/Recommendation and Conclusion

This is what my teammate wrote. I want you complete writing (Discussion and Recommendations) and (Conclusion):

Introduction

Florida Tech, already considered a “green college,” is in the top 20% of reviewed universities and has received a STARS ( ) Campus Sustainability Rating, immense achievements that we would love to continue or even improve in the future. Unfortunately, the University Sustainability Council’s Project Manager at Florida Tech was recently furloughed; he was previously in charge of various initiatives on campus, such as campus-wide recycling, environmentally friendly or recyclable material usage, and other eco-friendly tasks, and he also worked with SOSA. Due to these circumstances, sustainability is now in the hands of students. The student body’s responsibility is to uphold the standards previously reached by the University Sustainability Council and SOSA.

Florida Tech should continue to improve its ecological impact, which can be completed by implementing a composting program with the food waste created on campus. Statistics from the Food Recovery Network show an estimated 10 billion pounds of food thrown out every year in the US, and 22 million pounds of that is from US colleges (Waliczek et al., 2016). A large amount of food waste is created every day at food locations such as the Panther Dining Hall and Panther Grocery. The waste could be reduced and put to better use by composting the food scraps. Students, faculty, and administration of Florida Tech are very fortunate to have such a beautiful campus with a lovely landscape and the botanical gardens. With the help of the composted fertilizer made simply from existing food waste, the gardens could be made to be even more lush, all while taking steps toward being a “greener campus.”

Research has been done by group members to determine the feasibility of the project. Various organizations and individuals were contacted, and interviews were held to gather more information. The contacts include Professor Lindeman, the sustainability professor, and a member of the Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences Department. Another contact is the Director of Dining Services, Dr. Tom Stewart. Additionally, we spoke to a fellow student, Caroline Morales, who is working on a similar project. Finally, we spoke to multiple members of the SOSA. Any further information needed was gathered from published scholarly articles and other online sources. Through our research, we determined that the project is one that is very possible, and the outcomes will be even more than previously imagined. We found that the cost of starting this project is meager, especially with the help of volunteers, and the project would soon return its investment, by saving the school on waste removal costs. If the project were to be approved, we aim to collaborate with SOSA and other necessary organizations to install composting bins in the dormitory quad area and utilize the composted fertilizer to improve the garden.

Key Terms: Compost, fertilizer, sustainability

Methods

To gather expert information about the campus composting project, our group felt the best method would be to conduct interviews with faculty members of Florida Tech, contact student run organizations in regards to collaboration, and also use internet sources such as scholarly articles to obtain any information still needed about the logistics of the project. The first person contacted, Lindeman, is a great resource because he has experience helping students with their sustainability capstone projects every year. He gave valuable and promising feedback, saying that the project is very achievable, and even gave the contact information of two more people who would be able to assist in the research; these people include Stewart and Caroline Morales. We spoke to Stewart to highlight our current strategies and ask for advice and more input on the subject. The last to be contacted were members of the SOSA; we spoke to two members and informed them of the project. We also asked if they would be interested in a collaboration on the project since it would be a great initiative for their group members to make a positive difference and fulfill volunteer hours. Fortunately, the members with whom we spoke loved the idea and agreed that they would be willing to help with any necessary work such as installation of the composters or periodic maintenance.

Research also needed to be done to gather information about the short-term cost, long-term cost, approximate timelines, appropriate location, and other details on the composting equipment and procedure. Details about this information was gathered from various web sources which are listed in the appendices section of the report. The group decided that the composters will be installed in the campus garden located in the dorm quad. The location will be convenient for using the fertilizer created from the composted food to supplement the fruits, vegetables, and other plants that are already being grown in the garden. Not only will the project improve the gardens, but also will drastically decrease the amount of food that is being sent to the landfill by Florida Tech. The type of composters used will be bins made on site. An image to represent this type of composting bin can be seen as Figure 1 in Appendix B. The bins will be split up into three chambers which will have different stages of composting. The first section will be for the new food waste that is waiting to be composted, the second section will be for the active compost, and the third bin will be to hold the finished composted fertilizer. Some advantages of using these composting bins is they are cost effective, require little labor and maintenance, have a fast composting process, can handle large amounts of material, and can be made by students with the use of tools from campus resources such as the student design center and the machine shop (Risse, 2001). The costs of the composting bins will include the weather treated wood, the wire mesh, and the hardware, such as screws, hinges, and staples. We plan to build these bins to be twelve feet long, by six feet deep by 4 feet high. This should be an adequate size to make enough fertilizer for the campus gardens but will not be able to accommodate 100% of the usable food waste created each day. It is possible that if the composting is successful, the project will be scaled larger in the future to be able to repurpose even more waste. The cost of the wood based on the decided dimensions will be approximately $400 with a 10% allowance for waste. The cost of the wire mesh and hardware will be approximately $150. The sum of the cost of the wood, mesh, and hardware creates a total cost of approximately $550, if the labor costs can be eliminated by allowing students to volunteer to work on the project. The costs could be reduced even more if we are able to obtain palettes to use for the wood instead, being that they are often discarded by businesses. Using palette wood would also be favorable because it is being used as a repurposed or recycled material. The conclusions for the methods of carrying out the composting project were obtained through various web sources which can be viewed in Appendix A.

Findings/Results: What did you learn from your primary research that informs your summary of recommendations?

Through interviewing Tom Stewart, we were able to get many questions answered. We were told that large portions of vegetables, called pre-consumer waste, are just as hard to dispose of as is post-consumer waste. An example of pre-consumer waste is watermelon where only 1lb of the entire 2lb fruit is actually edible and the rest is disposed of. This pre-consumer waste is very clean since it was not touched by the consumer and is compostable. PDH does not have much production waste, since most of the material is “cooked to order” and a lot of the food is not made in excess. This makes sure that there is not much leftover food that goes to waste.

Unlike pre-consumer waste, post-consumer waste is waste that has been brought back from the consumer and is much harder to turn into compost. The process begins where the waste is heated up before it can be compostable. Then, the waste is put through a pulper which takes all of the water out of it. The remaining product is a bunch of rice size molecules and the overall weight is reduced by 75% from the removal of water. In a normal academic year, 200-300lbs of this is brought to a landfill. The post-consumer waste also has napkins and forks from PDH mixed in which are actually biodegradable.

There are very limited solutions to this issue of post-consumer waste, since there are no commercial composting locations near Melbourne. This is the biggest solution and a viable location near Melbourne that can take such a large amount of food would solve such an issue. Previously, there have been composting projects in the housing quad, but they did not use much of the pre-consumer waste that the dining hall has. PDH produces way too much pre-consumer waste for people to actually be able to use it. If Brevard county was able to take the pre-consumer waste, then that would also be a very viable solution, but they currently do not accept it for composting.

A solution that is very possible for use in the future for PDH is a bio-digester. This bio-digester is a unit that turns the pre and post-consumer waste into grey water which can then be put down the drain. This would vastly reduce the overall waste that the dining hall sends to the landfill every year. The biggest issue to buying one is the capital investment for this to happen. Mr. Stewart informed us that this would be a significant help for reducing waste since they dispose of food waste all day long.

The pre and post-consumer waste is getting put through a pulper all day long if people are constantly eating there. The process for food going through the pulper and getting recycled is a constant cycle. The contents of the waste that they receive include napkins, food, and anything else that they receive off of people’s plates. This is not separable as it is all included in one so it all goes through the pulper. Mr. Stewart explained to us that they will eventually purchase a bio digesting machine eventually or there will be a viable composting solution.

The biodigester that Mr. Stewart sent us comes from a company called EnviroPure which has many of these machines that range from 300-20,000 lbs a day of intake. This machine operates automatically, which is perfect for the dining halls. The process is very easy, since you just have to put the food into the intake and the product is entirely organic waste water. This machine does not take much room, since the machine can be stored underground and the only thing above ground would be the feeder. The process of the bio digester is quite simple and does not take much time for the food to be fully broken down.

The first part of the process includes food entering the system and being grinded and pulverized down into very small pieces. The reasoning behind this is to increase each individual piece’s surface area which significantly reduces the completion time. The bio digester uses a wastewater treatment process in which not much additional water is needed. The reasoning behind this is that the waste itself has a lot of water stored already, so this vastly minimizes the water needed. The machine adds bio mix to the process which also helps speed up the process. Once the waste settles for a bit, it eventually becomes a lot smaller and gets put through a filter, where the remaining grey water is able to go through. The remaining waste are very small waste particles that get sent to the landfill.

——————————– From Here you continue writing the “(Discussion and Recommendations) and (Conclusion)” 4

– MLA Format, 4 pages

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