The Illinois State University Farm has been composting food scraps, landscape waste, and livestock waste on a routine basis since 1993. In addition, other organic materials have been composted at different times depending on research projects and study requirements.
This facility annually composts between 8,000 and 15,000 cubic yards of leaves, 4,000-5,000 cubic yards of grass clippings and yard waste, less than 1,000 cubic yards of sawdust and woodchips, 200,000 gallons of separated biosolids from liquid swine manure, 50,000 gallons of unprocessed liquid swine manure, and 15,000 cubic yards of livestock manure/bedding. In 2011 nearly 1 million pounds of food scraps were composted at the facility through a community-wide food composting program.
The finished compost is utilized in several ways including as a soil amendment for research and general production by the ISU Farm and by the ISU Grounds Department as a soil amendment. It is also sold by the pick-up load, bag, or other container to the general public, by the ton to horticulture businesses and farmers, and small amounts are donated to various organizations.