Nicole Berg

Nicole Berg

Nicole Berg

Speaker | University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI | 734-763-4615 | nberg@umich.edu

Nicole Berg is a Sustainability Representative within Facilities and Operations at the University of Michigan (U-M). She helps manage U-M’s Zero Waste Event Program. She holds a degree in Environmental Science, and has 8 years experience in sustainability and waste reduction outreach, education, and program management.

Presentation Title: Making Blue Go Green: Introducing Post-Consumer Composting to a Large University

Session: Campus Composting, Part 2: Pushing the Boundaries

Time: Tuesday, January 29, 4:45 PM – 6:15 PM

Presentation Summary: How do we prevent contamination? This was the key question our staff was faced with when charged with expanding composting opportunities at our institution of80,000 people. To meet our goal of reducing waste sent to landfills by 40% by 2025, it was imperative that we expand composting opportunities in a significant way. Since our major food operations were already pre-consumer composting in dining establishments around campus, our best move forward was post-consumer composting.

Our program has expanded in three branches (1) zero waste events for students, (2) zero waste events for staff, and (3) zero waste staff kitchens. In this session we will cover why we selected these programs. We will focus on key strategies for effectively composting contamination-free in each of these programs, key barriers & challenges,and – does progress show we can reach our diversion goal through these programs?

Attendees will take away adoptable strategies for post-consumer collection programs, especially in areas with frequent overturn in engaged populations, as well as data on the diversion potential of composting in office, classroom, and athletic venues.Strategies covered will include (1) building occupant/event attendee education; (2) broader stakeholder engagement and buy-in – from the compost site operator,sustainable packaging provider, custodial services, waste hauler, to caterers; and (3) addressing concerns and hiccups.