Black Soldier Fly Food Waste Composting System for Urban Neighborhoods
Outside - Unity Quad
In the United States alone, 119 million pounds of food are wasted every year. Much of this waste goes to landfills where it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and water contamination. There are several household waste companies that serve higher income communities by collecting food waste and composting it or disposing of it sustainably. However, these services are not as accessible to urban neighborhoods. Our project utilizes black soldier fly larvae to compost food waste in a sustainable, accessible and scalable way. Black soldier fly larvae eat a variety of substances at a fast pace, which makes them ideal for compost systems. They do not consume wood, but when combined with worms, they can create a full compost system. In addition, their waste products can be used as fertilizer or for extraction of chitin/chitosan and melanin. Previous MSD teams have worked with the larvae and designed a continuous, super insulated smart shed that currently operates within the RIT garden. Our team has been tasked with improving this system by better controlling the heat and humidity of the shed’s environment, limiting the escape of larvae, collecting escaped flies, and redesigning the system to fit within smaller urban environments. Our exhibit will include a demonstration of the design and an explanation from the team.
Thank you to all of our sponsors!