Breaking News: Composting System Design Competition

Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council

Calling All Engineers And Environmentalists, Designers And Dirt Nerds

WE want YOUR ideas for how to make a composting system to serve Philadelphia neighborhoods.

The Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council (FPAC) seeks designs for neighborhood-scale, in-vessel composting systems that can be used by schools and community organizations. The competition is open to anyone, including college and high school classes, explains Madeline Smith-Gibbs with FPAC. “We expect to get submissions from compost nerds, as well as people with engineering and design backgrounds who may not be familiar with composting prior to entering the competition.” Designers agree that their design will be shared open-source if they win, so that FPAC can help support community composters throughout the city.

Composting system design criteria include:
• Fully-enclosed and rodent-proof
• Able to function year-round outdoors in Philadelphia’s climate
• 1 to 3 cubic yards in capacity
• Easily constructed and maintained
• Able to process a full load of compost within three months, or as little time as possible
• Total cost of materials $500 or below.
Extra points may be given to entries significantly under $500, have the capability to process animal protein within a reasonable time frame, and use sustainable materials in construction.

Email completed submission forms and an illustration that clearly shows the structure and operation of the composter to  with the subject line “Design Submission.” Submit designs by March 15, 2017. Finalists’ designs will be selected by March 29. If you are a finalist, FPAC will provide funding for you to build your design. Finished compost systems will need to be transported to a testing site in Philadelphia by April 26. Finalist compost systems will then be tested by local composting organizations over the summer and a winner announced in Fall 2017.

The competition is hosted by the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council, The Dirt Factory, and Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Partners include Bennett Compost, BioCycle, Crazy About Compost, EPA Food Recovery Challenge, Philly Compost, and Summer-Winter Garden.

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