The Vermicomposting Center is home to millions of red wiggler earthworms and was set up primarily to process food waste from the dining halls on campus.
Used extensively for research, teaching and education, the facility is part of the University Farms system and is located approximately two miles southwest of the main campus.
The worms (Scientific name: Eisenia Fetida) produce a mineral-rich compost after feasting on approximately 12,800 pounds of vegetable waste generated each year from one of the University's dining halls (Lentz Hall). The vermicompost is then used to grow transplants and as a fertility amendment for vegetable crops.
A joint effort between the University's Plant and Service Operations and research faculty in the College of Agricultural Sciences, the facility offers tours to interested student groups and classes.
Funded by a $150,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in 2006, the Vermicomposting Center drastically reduces organic waste going into landfills.
The goal is not just production of food, but also research and recycling of food waste within the university.
- "Proposed Worm Farm would Have Multiple Benefits" [SIUC News Release 05/21/2004]
- "'Worm Farm' Open House Set for Friday at SIUC" [SIUC News Release 08/24/2006]
- "Digging into Reserach:University Turns Waste Into Soil 'Commodity'" [Southern Illinoisan Newspaper 08/26/2006]
- "SIUC Enters National Recycling Contest" [Southern Illinois Newspaper 01/29/2007]
- "Study Suggests Vermicompost Aids Broccoli Growth" [SIUC Press Release, 05/09/2007]
- "Association Names Warner 'Recycler of the Year'" [SIUC Press Release, 06/08/2007]
3373 W. Pleasent Hill Road
For additional information about the Vermicomposting Center, please contact:
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, Illinois 62901
Phone: (618) 453-2496
Fax: (608) 453-7457