2019-2020 Innovation of the Year Award Winner: Madison Area Technical College

Biodigester Project: Sustainability Linked to Supporting Students

Madison Area Technical College has always had a focus on the environment, be it lighting, water conservation, the largest rooftop solar display in Wisconsin, or LEED silver or better on new buildings. When a biodigester idea emerged from the award-winning innovation process, an interdisciplinary team went to work. The digester consumes all compostable products from the Culinary and Baking programs and the college’s cafeteria. Thanks to this innovation, no food product from Madison College goes into the waste stream—eliminating up to 25 tons of food scrap per year. The college has fresh compost to use in campus landscapes and plans are for the compost to be bagged and sold to the community, with proceeds aimed at scholarships to address student food insecurity. Innovative, interdisciplinary team thinking paired with a commitment to sustainability for the good of the environment and students is a winning combination and we are proud to feature this environmentally sustainable practice.

Innovators: Turina Bakken, Ashley Bauer, Suzanne Daly, David Dorst, Lisa Hunter, John Johnson, Erin Kohl, Eric Lauersdorf, Wesley Marquardt, Kevin McGuinnis, Paul Short, Marsha Tweedy, Jason Walker, Bryan Woodhouse

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