Clarkson University receives $ 20,000 grant to expand food waste program with local schools


Gina Rowen helps middle school students Brayden Bender and Colten Lawrence drop their cafeteria food waste into the collection bin for separation and processing.

Constellation, an Exelon company, awarded Clarkson University a $ 20,000 grant through its E² Energy to Educate grant program.

This fourth consecutive Constellation grant will allow Clarkson to continue its current partnership with Canton Central School (CCS) and expand educational programming to include a new group of students from Heuvelton Central College (HCS). The project “From Food to Energy, Forging New Partnerships: Promoting Resource Recovery in Schools and Community for Sustainable Impact” will be led by Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Stefan Grimberg and Associate Professor of Engineering and Institute for STEM Education, Jan DeWaters.

“Thanks to a dedicated group of students and staff from Clarkson and CCS, we have been able to process food waste from the cafeteria for the past 3 years, bringing it to our anaerobic digester located nearby at the Cornell Cooperative. Extension Farm in Canton, New York. Since we started, we’ve processed almost 16 tonnes of food waste, generating the equivalent of around 20,600 kWh of energy, ”says Grimberg. “This year our program will expand to involve Clarkson students in a campus resource recovery project using our anaerobic digester on campus. ”

Clarkson students enrolled in a multidisciplinary project course will be responsible for developing and administering educational materials for CCS and HCS students, mentoring CCS students to expand their cafeteria food waste program, and creating materials. educational for Clarkson and the community at large. “This year, we are thrilled to involve the Clarkson community in a food waste collection system for the newly relocated campus digester,” adds DeWaters. “Our students will take advantage of the excellent materials produced by the group last year to educate the Clarkson community about food waste and resource recovery.” Clarkson students will also help oversee the operation of the food waste digester and work with Grimberg and DeWaters to analyze food waste disposal options and explore sustainable food waste processing.

The grant provides college and pre-university students the opportunity to work together to experience real-world problem solving, while also gaining insight into current resource challenges. Constellation awarded $ 510,000 through its E2 Energy to Education program to support 23 practical STEM focused on energy equity, sustainability as a way of life and a sustainable world.

Constellation, an Exelon company, is a leading competitive energy company providing electricity, natural gas, renewable energy and energy management products and services to homes and businesses across the continental United States. The grant program exemplifies Constellation’s long-standing commitment to fostering workforce development with the goal of igniting STEM in young minds, creating a large and diverse talent pool, and eliminating barriers to economic empowerment, especially in underserved communities.

Learn more at sites.clarkson.edu/foodwaste and www.constellation.com/e2e.