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Zero Waste Goals and Composting Program

To create a Zero Waste campus by 2035, which means that we must re-evaluate how we use materials. We are looking to transition away from a single use, linear economy and create a more circular loop of production and consumption.


Dining Services has implemented a variety of Zero Waste strategies to help further these goals:

Eliminating Single Use Plastic and Reducing Waste

  • Our dining halls minimize the use of plastics and no longer give out plastic cups or straws.

  • We have switched to reusable or compostable items when possible.

  • We aim to reduce waste through a variety of policies such as purchasing in bulk, utilizing refillable condiments containers and single serve napkin dispensers. 

How does Composting Work?

  • Organic materials can be recycled through the compost process, breaking down faster and used to make nutrient rich soil that can be reused. Plant based items such as our compostable cups, plates and boxes can be added to compost when composted at an industrial facility.
  • When organic material is sent to landfills it produces methane, adding more emissions to the atmosphere.

Food Waste Composting 

  • City Bistro began composting all pre-and-post consumer food waste in 2012. Since then, both Liberty Fresh Foods Marty’s Place and our Catering Department now compost food waste.

  • We have partnered with SMART Recycling, a local compost hauler to take our compost to Bee's Ferry Compost Facility.
  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), food waste is the largest portion of landfill waste and one of the biggest contributors to the production of methane emissions in landfills. Methane has “21 times the global warming potential than carbon dioxide”, making it one of the most damaging greenhouse gases. 
  • Our food waste is diverted from the landfill, along with compostable plates, cups and serviceware given out in our dining halls. Not only does this process eliminate massive amounts of emissions from our operations, it creates a new product from waste for local farms and brings us closer to meeting our goal of Zero Waste by 2025.  

From the efforts of students, faculty and staff, Dining Services has composted millions of pounds of organic waste, diverting an average 457,000lbs of compostable waste from the landfill each year. 

Diverting 457,000lbs of compostable waste saves emissions equivalent to 2.8 million gallons of gas each year according to the EPA’s WARM model. Even with our successes, we continue to implement new strategies to capture even more waste, reduce our waste and further decrease our emissions footprint.


Fryer Oil Filtering and Recycling

  • Dining Services uses Filtafry to filter and clean fryer oil, expanding the lifespan of our oil and reducing the amount of oil needed by 50%.
  • Our fryer oil is then recycled and used to make Biodiesel, which emits 80% less carbon dioxide than petroleum based diesel. 


To find out more about Zero Waste initiatives on campus, visit our campus Zero Waste Page.