Organic waste (composting)

Compostables or organic wastes are items that can break down in nature in a relatively short period under the right conditions. Examples of compostable items include:

All Food Products

  • Fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals, dairy
  • Leftovers and table scraps
  • Meat, bones, fish
  • Pizza, popcorn, etc.

Food related items

  • Egg cartons
  • Food soiled paper products - napkins, paper plates, paper cups (Starbucks cups), pizza boxes, paper cupcake liners
  • Corks from bottled beverages, corkboards, etc.
  • Bioplastic products - cups, straws, lids, etc. that are made from corn and are marked 'compostable' on the package
  • Coffee grounds, coffee filters, tea bags
  • Compostable chip bags (only bags marked as compostable, like Sun Chips)
  • Chopsticks, toothpicks and bamboo skewers - wooden only
  • Milk containers, waxed paper containers; please remove plastic spigot if applicable
  • Spudware - utensils and tableware made from potatoes or other biodegradable materials

Non-food related items

  • Biodegradable or compostable trash bags (BioBags, etc.)
  • Cardboard, used matches
  • Old clothing items - 100 percent cotton or wool only
  • Cotton balls
  • Cotton swabs (made with cotton or cardboard sticks, no plastic sticks)
  • Hair
  • Items labeled as 'compostable' or 'biodegradable'
  • Lint (from the clothes dryer)
  • Paper - copy paper, newspaper, sticky notes, receipts, paper towels, paper towel rolls, tissues, etc.
  • Pencil shavings
  • Plant materials - dead flowers, leaves, plant trimmings, etc.

Bin locations

Centralized compost collection bins are available in all three residence hall areas for students who wish to collect and dispose their organic waste for composting. Click on area for organic waste collection locations: Cuarto, Segundo, Tercero.

Compost collection bins are not provided in residents' rooms. Any container with a lid can be used to collect organic waste. A coffee can with a lid, disposable food container (such as a large yogurt container) and cardboard oatmeal containers used with a liner are just a few examples. Containers can also be purchased at local retail stores. Residents are encouraged to empty compostable containers regularly.

Where does it go?

The organic waste collected in Student Housing and Dining Services is sent to the commercial composting facility Northern Recycling Compost Facility in Zamora, Calif. The facility recycles green material, food waste, wood waste, and agricultural waste to provide compost, mulch, biomass fuel, and value-added soil and compost blends.