• Rozieana Abu Petrochemical Engineering Department, Polytechnic Tun Syed Nasir
  • Tuan Rozilaazawani Tuan Mat Petrochemical Engineering Department, Polytechnic Tun Syed Nasir
  • Maria Mansor Petrochemical Engineering Department, Polytechnic Tun Syed Nasir
  • Shamsul Rizal Shamsuddin Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (Johor Branch), Johor Bahru
  • Muhammad Arif Ab Aziz Centre of Hydrogen Energy, Institute of Future Energy, University Technology Malaysia (UTM), Johor Bahru


Composting methods for food waste treatment can play an important role because of the biological stabilization of food waste into bio fertilizer and biogas by-products. Composting contributes to the reduction of CO2 and CH4 harmful emissions when food wastes are diverted from landfill. Higher education institutions (HEIs) have been pioneers in establishing composting programs on their campuses. However, there is scarce guidance on composting procedures. Therefore, this study aims to provide a critical assessment of the most recent research accomplishments and unique breakthroughs in composting management in HEIs. A review of 24 publications from related journals and conference proceedings was chosen and used in this investigation. The significant progress made in the composting of food waste in HEIs has been discussed, especially the modes of the composting operation, its strengths and limitations, the composition and capacity of composting, and finally, the fundamental strategies for the rational design of composting for effective transformations of food waste into organic fertilizer. The findings of the reviewed studies showed the primary problems of composting are gaseous emissions and non-biodegradable contaminants. Among the composting techniques, aerobic or anaerobic composting is found to be a suitable technique for the treatment of food waste. Comparatively, aerobic treatment is preferable in terms of scalability, handling, and maintenance, as reflected in the lower costs for large-scale operations. Food waste can be composted at HEIs through the use of co-substrates (i.e., bulking materials, amendments, and inoculation agents), an aeration system, a chemical or maturing compost as a cover substance, and other means. As a recommendation, the technological decisions related to technological readiness level and performance, safety, financial feasibility, also campus community involvement in the program must be made. The study potentially aids decision-making processes at the university alliance level by offering an accurate framework to promote actions to valorize food waste efficiently.