Composting by Ioannina University

Composting by Ioannina University


Article: by Prof.Apostolos Katsikis,
Environmental Education Professor,
University of Ioannina, Responsible of the Recycling Program

Ioannina University  started the first face of the recycling programe a few years ago, in 2008  within the Campus premises, facilitates the whole recycling process, while on the other hand, the idea of recycling expands further.
Special buckets have been installed in four points of the Campus for the collection of empty batteries.
The second phase, the implementation of which began in November 2009 is related  to the collection and transfer to a special recycling center, of appliances, electronics and material out of use (i.e. computers, printers, projection machines other types of electronic equipment, electrical equipment, etc.).
The collection, transport, sorting and recovery of recyclable materials from the campus of Ioannina to the industrial area, at the sorting-, packaging- and materials-transfer centre , is made by a company of mechanical recycling that cooperates with the University.

Chronologically, the last interference in the management of the Campus generated waste, is the food remaining management, generated by the student restaurant activity and the ‘ Figos ‘ restaurant of the University. These products create for the most serious problems to the environment, because they charge it with organic substances that are difficult to bio-degrade and because their biological process, produce ‘diastalagmata’ and odors. The installation of a composting system (composting) gave solution to the management of organic waste. Foodborne scrap is sent to a sealed bio-reactor that converts it to compost on Composting by Ioannina University program.
The investment in the composting by Ioannina University composting-system ranks the University of Ioannina first in Greece and third worldwide among the Universities that have proceeded in the recycling and reusing from the household waste student restaurant. Similar systems have been placed in the Imperial University in London and at McGill University in Canada.

Composting facilities of this particular installation is 1200 kg residues/week with a corresponding production of around 120 kg of fertilizer.
The organic fertilizer (frozen) resulting from the above procedure is saved and used in rehabilitation of rooms, either inside or, if requested so, outside the Campus area.


This system, according to Professor of the Department of biological applications and Technologies Mr. Giorgos Pilidis, who had the idea to install it, could be extremely helpful in the Ioannina Prefecture, for the construction of a larger scale Composting Unit.

Fully documented and according to the local belief,  the recycling program project of the University of Ioannina was ‘crowned’ with success. The whole process worked and it still works faultlessly. This can be proved both by the quantity of material recycled (over 300 tons of recyclable materials to date that would end up in the Douroutis waste area, i.e.
 7 tons of material per month), and also  by the response of members of the University community and our fellow citizens. It is noted that the largest quantities of recyclable materials, 34% and 30% respectively is white & colored paper, as well as paperboard, which means less tree- cutting.

It is therefore clear that the goals of the program have been achieved to a large extent, i.e.
•    rational management of materials produced by the various uses of the University (mainly paper)
•    maintaining and upgrading further the environmental situation and aesthetics of the Campus
•    reducing the volume of waste
•    improving the quality of life on Campus
•    the ecological awareness and acquisition of ecological conscience and morality of the members of the University community (especially of the student population) and the public of the wider region of Ioannina
•    dissemination and implementation of the of environmental education principles to students who visit the Campus. Another evidence of the success of the program, apart from the visit by many citizens from the region of Ioannina and the deposition on the campus of recyclable materials, is that many students of school students from the region visit the University and have the opportunity to see a recycling program in practice.

We want to believe, and this  is our aim anyway, that the University of Ioannina through its innovative and pioneering actions as and by adopting specific environment- friendly policy, will be the only institution on a  national basis able to claim that the ‘ zero waste ‘ practice is put in action in all its activities on both Recycling and Composting programs.

We hope that this well organized Composting by Ioannina University rogram will operate as an example and will be a challenge for wider applications in many similar spaces, i.e. universities, schools and semi-public bodies, since it consists a deliberate act of ecological awareness and action.

Apostolos Katsikis, Environmental Education Professor
University of Ioannina, Responsible of the Recycling Program

Editing, by Katerina Magania 28 June 2012

more on Recycling By Ioannina University program

 Ioannina University  Greece, is located  in Epirus at North Western part of Greece, in the Beauriful Historic Town of Ioannina, overviewing Lake Pamvotis



2 Responses to Composting by Ioannina University

  1. Very nice theme!!!!!

  2. Christina Moutsiou says:

    I recognize my former professor in the picture, Professor Apostolos Katsikis. I am sure his involvement in this project is decisive. (And how he wouldt say “το νώον νοείτω”).

    Inspiring work!!

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