KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Many graduates from the University of Tennessee crossed the stage over the weekend, but some are leaving behind more than just memories. For Marilyn Reish, who earned her Master’s in Landscape Architecture, the impact she has already made on the community will bring lasting change, and it was all from an idea that came from outside the classroom.

“My partner and I were looking for ways to get more out of our compost pile. We researched and then built our own static aerated compost bins,” Reish said.

Soon the compost bins were adopted by the City of Knoxville and that is where you’ll find these bins off Willow Avenue. Anyone can bring their food scraps, and from there it’s taken to Battlefield Farm.

“The Americorp volunteers from Knoxville take the compost out every week to pastor Battles and the static aerated bins are doing their job and making compost for his community farm which is an awesome organization,” Reish said.

That is where you will find the solar-powered static aerated composting system that came about through Reish’s original idea. Now compost that is collected can be turned into soil to grow produce, with a lot of what’s grown being used to fight food insecurity within the city.

“I think it’s exciting for me because it can be just a small change. Just the city putting like six waste bins under a bridge can create soil that grows food, so even small changes matter,” Reish said.