Compost History

Compost History at CU

Since 2004, CU has been composting in the Dining Halls, capturing over 170 tons of organic materials each year.  A large portion of this material is from the prep waste in the Kitchens and the rest is from the "uneaten" food that is sent back to the dish line.  Since all of this composting is happening behind the scenes, there are no public compost bins in the Dining/Residence Halls.

In 2007, the University Memorial Center (UMC) started composting "behind the scenes" and started capturing over 20 tons of organic material each year.  After a few years, the UMC Grill converted all of the "to-go" ware that their food is served on to be compostable.  With this conversion, we were able to set up compost bins to the public in the dining area.  Compost bins were also added to the rest rooms to capture the used paper towels, as they can be composted.  Now, the UMC composts over 35 tons of organic materials each year.

The Compost Pilot Study in 2011 has proven successful in capturing organic materials from rest room compost bins and now shows the potential for adding public composting to other buildings on campus!  We are currently in the Compost Expansion phase to bring composting to all buildings on campus!

Current compost collection totals for FY 2012-2013 are as follows:

  • 489 tons = Entire Campus
  • 418 tons = Dining Halls
  •   43 tons = Universtiy Memorial Center (UMC)
  •     7 tons = Intermediate Processing Facility (IPF - Campus Recycling Center)
  •  6.5 tons = Folsom Stadium (daily operations, excluding Football Games)
  •  5.7 tons = Business building
  •  3.2 tons = Systems Biotechnology building
  •  3.1 tons = Wolf Law building
  •  2.2 tons = Regent building
Compost Pilot - How it Worked

The public composting bins in the buildings above are collected on a daily basis by our custodial staff. Above each bin there is a gradsheet posted to instruct you on what is compostable and acceptable to place in the bin. Check out the "Acceptable Materials" page for more details. 

Deskside Composting - Option #1: Use a Compost Mini Bin

  • Fill your Mini Bin with ONLY compostable materials
  • Keep the lid on the Mini Bin to prevent smells and pests
  • When you desire, bring your Mini Bin to the rest room and empty it into the Compost Bin
  • If necessary, rinse out your Mini Bin in the nearest kitchen or break room sink (please don't rinse in the rest room as the sinks will clog)

Deskside Composting - Option #2: Do Not use a Compost Mini Bin

  • Take any compostable materials directly to the rest room when you need to dispose of them

Take the Challenge!

  • Compost and Recycle all of your waste and GET RID of your TRASH BIN!

If you didn't get a Mini Bin and would like one, or would like to request another Mini Bin, please email: cure@colorado.edu