Joycelyn Chui

Project title: "Restaurant 2 Garden" - A Community-Based Food Waste Composting Pilot Project

Degree: MPH | Program: Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) | Project type: Practicum
Completed in: 2022 | Faculty advisor: Jennifer Otten


My MPH practicum experience was with InterIm Community Development Association’s Danny Woo Community Garden to launch the Restaurant 2 Garden project. The project addresses the problem of lack of green space and environmental racism to the Chinatown International District (C-ID) neighborhood. I assisted the project team on solving the problem through (a) project management, (b) literature review, (c) grants application. I developed basic project management documents and a budget to operate the project. I also had the pleasure to meet community stakeholders who then joined to be on the community steering committee for this project.

Secondly, I conducted a literature review to address the following four questions can directly impact the project’s operational success, scalability, and sustainability: (1) In addition to “hot composting” and worm composting/vermicomposting, what are other composting methods can we try in the garden? (2) Why is meat often excluded in composting? And why can’t we have meat in the feedstock for the worm bin? (3) How to deter rodents in the composting site? (4) How are other community composting projects funded? The questions were developed collaboratively among the project team.

Finally, I wrote multiple grant applications (including budget development), interviewed with and presented to funders, partner restaurants, and policy makers in a culturally-appropriate manner. Over the course of my practicum, I assisted the team in securing $62,000 operational funding, researched best management practices for the project team, and established a community steering committee for oversight.