Marshall set to open first commercial composting facility in West Virginia

Marshall University will soon open the first commercial composting facility in the state of West Virginia. The final piece of equipment, which is a large commercial digester, is scheduled for delivery at Marshall’s University Heights location at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12. 

The composting facility, designed and operated by the university’s Sustainability Department, led by Amy Parsons-White, will be the second-largest university compost facility in the eastern United States and has the capacity to compost eight tons of organic waste per day. Organic waste consists of food waste, lawn waste, white office paper and cardboard. In addition, the university’s carbon footprint will be lowered by reducing waste haul to landfills and thousands of dollars will be saved each year in waste haul fees.

“Marshall University is leading the way in innovative and sustainable efforts like our new composting facility,” said Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert. “I credit Amy Parsons-White for her leadership and vision in putting Marshall at the forefront of sustainability in West Virginia. As someone who has composted organic material on a daily basis for over 20 years, I can tell you that I am very excited about our new composting effort and proud of our new facility. This will be a game changer for Marshall and the Huntington community.”

Gilbert went on to thank Tom Wolf and Leslie Petteys, local philanthropists, and others for their support of Parsons-White’s vision.

Students in Marshall’s specialty agriculture degree program within the College of Science will use the compost facility as an educational laboratory, which will also serve as a community outreach hub, hosting community composting and agriculture workshops. Finished compost, branded as Herd Dirt, will be available for sale to the public as early as April 2021.

Media are invited to attend. The composting facility is located at 1010 Norway Ave. in Huntington.

Photos of the commercial digester will be available after delivery at

To learn more about the MU Sustainability Department, visit