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Annual Report 2018

Students advance compost grinder to help with waste management

Gaurav Malik, Alison Juta, Alexander MacGregor and Aaron Sentner

Students at UNB are always ready to step up to the plate.

Three engineering students used their education and creativity to develop a new technology to assist a local food bank.

The Fredericton Food Bank, at Greener Village, grinds about 30 pounds of compost waste each week. The students were able to help by enhancing an inefficient manual compost grinder.

“Our main goal is to create something that will last a long time, be easy to clean and maintain, easy to operate and easy to repair – if something were to break, we wanted them to be able to fix it themselves instead of having to hire someone,” say Gaurav Malik, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student at UNB.

Malik and fellow fourth-year mechanical engineering students Aaron Sentner and Alexander MacGregor had the chance to showcase their innovation to the public at the Fredericton Convention Centre during the annual UNB Engineering Design Symposium.

The compost grinder is made up of a metal hooper and a lexan viewing window. It has slanted edges that force the produce to tumble into a set if cylinders with grinding teeth at the bottom. Previously, an inefficient manual hand crank was the only way to make those teeth move.

The original grinder was first designed and built in 2015 by a group of UNB engineering students.

One of the original creators, UNB graduate Jonathan Kummer, volunteered with Greener Village last summer and realized that the grinder wasn’t working as efficiently as it could.

“He took the initiative and went back to UNB engineering and asked if they could find a group to make improvements to his original design,” says Greener Village’s Alison Juta.

The grinder has since been installed at Greener Village and is in its possession.

“I like the idea that our project is helping environmental sustainability and that we are helping a great client that cares about the same things we do,” says Sentner.