Author ORCID Identifier

Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Studies

Committee Member(s)

Cynthia McPherson Frantz
Roger H. Laushman
Linda Arbogast


Compost, Food waste, Waste audit, Carbon emissions, Emissions planning, Emissions reduction, Waste management, Oberlin


Food waste represents significant amounts of money, energy, and natural resources throughout its lifecycle from production to disposal. Diverting the quantity of food waste sent to landfills is necessary to address the growing strain on resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This study was a collaborative effort between the City of Oberlin and Oberlin College designed to identify challenges and benefits to establishing a pilot municipal composting program. Establishing a citywide composting program will help Oberlin achieve its goal of carbon neutrality. We used food audits, stakeholder interviews, and emissions reduction models to better understand the best approach to municipal composting in Oberlin. We found that our partner organizations face a variety of challenges to successfully participate in food waste composting. The study concludes with recommendations for the pilot program and expansion of citywide composting in Oberlin.