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Composting on Campus

Composting at Grounds

Grounds Department CompostThe College of Charleston provides the opportunity for all students to compost whether they live in the residence halls or not. All organic discarded food can be dropped off at the Restorative Urban Agrigulture Program's Warren drop-off location, which can be found at the back of the Warren Residence Hall parking law. This drop-off location can be accessed 24/7 for all of your composting needs. 

The drop-off has three separate bins for food waste, brown items such as paper, and coffee grounds. Make sure these items are separated from each other before using the compost drop-off. For a list of acceptable compostable items, click here.

To learn more about how to compost at home, check out the Office of Sustainability's Composting Guide for tips and tricks on how to start and maintain a compost system in an urban environment.

For more information on the school's composting initiatives, visit the Resotrative Urban Agriculture Program's page, here

Dining Halls

In the Fall of 2012, the City Bistro dining hall stopped sending its food and dining materials to the county landfill and began composting all pre and post consumer products. The Office of Sustainability began conducting a cost analysis in the Spring of 2013 and found that composting could be cost effectively implemented into the other dining hall—Liberty Fresh Food Company—as well as auxiliary locations. In the Fall of 2013, the program was expanded to include these areas. Composting is easier for staff, benefits the community and College, and supports local business, all while extending the life of the landfill. Partnering with Food Waste Disposal, the College earns 40 pounds of usable soil for every 2,000 pounds of compostable material picked up at CofC.

Current Academic Year Composting Totals

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Did you know that you can also host a zero waste event? Contact us to find out how!

Residence Halls

The Office of Sustainability turned its eyes to residence halls next. In order to estimate whether or not efforts in this direction would be worthwhile, the Office first had to get an idea of how much organic matter was coming out of the “waste” stream in an apartment-style dorm. In November of 2013, the Office of Sustainability and the Office of Residence Life collaborated to conduct a waste audit on the first floor of Kelly House Residence Hall. Office of Sustainability interns collected data on outgoing waste from Kelly Residence Hall for one week.

   Kelly House Waste Audit by VolumeKelly House Waste Audit by Weight

With data analysis from the waste audit, and information compiled from other campuses around the country who compost in their residence buildings, the Office of Sustainability is looking to determine how fruitful residence hall composting could be. Depending on the results, the Office may plan a pilot program with Residence Life. This program would help the designated Hall reconnect with their waste, learn how to turn “trash” into resources, and how to reuse food and yard matter for healthy soil.

Composting in the Community

There are many efforts underway to implement composting programs in the Charleston community. Check out the video below to learn how one restaurant is leading the way in reducing wasted food and giving back to the local growers that it came from.