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Using Insects to Transform Waste

Using Insects to Transform Waste

Program: Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund
All Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund projects »

Waste piling on the beach. Photo by Dustan Woodhouse on Unsplash.

An insect operation that will raise black soldier fly larvae (BSFL), a non-pest type of fly native to tropical and temperate regions of the world. As the larvae consume organic waste from the campus and Ann Arbor community, the project facility will divert waste from landfills such as fruit and vegetable scraps and spent brewers grains. Moreover, it will serve as an educational initiative to showcase sustainable alternative food for students and Ann Arbor community members. The facility will generate 50 pounds of BSFL per month and in the process divert 500 pounds of local organic waste, preventing the equivalent of nearly 5 tons of C02 emissions per year that would be created by our community. Excess insects not utilized for programming and community outreach are sold as feed to the agricultural community to keep the operation running and to foster sustainable relations even off campus.

Student Team: Eric Katz, William Horne III, Jonathan Luthy, Robert Pigg, and Timothy Schumacher.

External Partners: Arbor Brewing Company, Kulisha, Mad Agriculture, International Centre of Insect Physiology, and Ecology, Washtenaw Food Hub, and the greater Washtenaw community.