On WXXI radio’s “Connections with Evan Dawson,” Jacob Fox ’16, CEO and sustainability consultant of Organix Green Industries, discussed environmental sustainability and his company’s transformative solutions to food and paper waste in the Finger Lakes Region.
Fox, who works alongside John Hicks ’59, runs the large-scale vermiculture facility in Seneca Castle, N.Y., which composts biodegradable waste for repurposed use throughout the Finger Lakes. The facility processes 2,000 tons of organic waste annually – including food scraps from restaurants, schools, municipalities and other large organic waste producers, and other waste streams such as shredded paper and manure. These materials are then fed to worms to create an organic soil amendment and fertilizer.
“Food waste is on average 20% of our national waste stream, and contributes to the release of methane, a greenhouse gas, that is 25 times more potent than CO2,” Fox said during the “Connections” interview. “Vermiculture is an efficient and cost effective way to turn human and animal waste into high-quality organic soil amendment and fertilizer.”
Organix Green works with large-scale producers on “a problem that [people] spend a lot of money and resources to get rid of…and use it to enrich green spaces and agriculture in a totally responsible and environmentally conscious way,” Fox says. “I believe what we’re doing at my company is changing the waste industry. Right now, most businesses do not have an efficient alternative to just throwing things in the garbage. We are creating the infrastructure to make composting – and specifically vermicomposting – a possibility. And with our soil, we are replacing harmful synthetic chemicals often used for agriculture and landscaping and applying it to athletic fields, roadside embankments, contaminated areas and gardens.”
An environmental public policy major and sociology minor, Fox says “HWS prepared me to take on responsibility quickly. My professors and peers taught me to look at a problem from multiple perspectives and to consider different possibilities when making a decision.”
During the spring 2017 semester, Organix Green Industries collaborated with Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Robin Lewis and students in Sustainable Community Development Methods, as the course conducted market research in the sustainability industry.