Composting

Wesleyan composts food scraps from Usdan Dining Hall, Summerfields Dining Hall, Pi Cafe, many campus residences, and several offices.  Click the expandable links below to learn more about composting or download the newly updated printable recycling/compost handout.  

  • Where do I compost?

    Outdoors

    here are 14 black composting bins located on campus that are open to use by all students and employees.  DeNeile Cooper '15, a past Composting Intern, created an interactive composting map with more information (requires Wesleyan login).

    • Hi/Lo-Rise Apartments (outside of Hi Rise Laundry Room)
    • The Bayit (157 Church St., between the Bayit and WesWings)
    • Allbritton (next to Espwesso patio)
    • 200 Church St. (near the parking lot)
    • The Butterfields (against the wall of Butterfields A)
    • Brainerd Ave. and Home Ave. (53 Home backyard)
    • Exley (loading dock along Pine St. opposite the dumpsters)
    • Warren St. and Fountain Ave. (backyard)
    • Vine St. and Knowles Ave. (side yard)
    • WestCo (on the courtyard near WestCo/Foss 1)
    • Hewitt (outside Lounge on the side of Hewitt facing Vine St.)
    • Farm House (344 Washington St. backyard)
    • Full/Writing House (202 Washington St. side yard)
    • Court Street Apartments (272-278 Court St. back right corner of parking lot)

    Indoors

    • Dorms: 200 Church, Bennet, Butterfields A and C, Clark, Nics, and WestCo kitchens and/or lounges; ask your Eco Facilitator for more dorm location details
    • Exley lobby (outside Pi Cafe) 
    • Usdan Marketplace (dish return)
    • Summerfields (dish return)
    • Offices and student residences that have opted into the program

    For questions about composting, email the Composting Interns.

  • What can I compost in the black bins, dorms, residences, and offices?

    Check out page two of the printable recycling/compost handout to understand what's compostable where on campus.

    Compostable

    • fruits and vegetables (raw or cooked)
    • tea bags
    • coffee grounds and filters
    • bread, cereal, rice, pasta, and other grains
    • eggs and eggshells
    • unbleached paper towels and napkins

    Not compostable

    • "compostable" plates, cups, and cutlery
    • meat and fat
    • dairy
    • oils
    • liquids
    • recyclable materials (glass, metal, plastic)
    • bleached and/or inked paper products
    • cleaning products/chemicals
  • What can I compost in Usdan and Summerfields?

    Check out page two of the printable recycling/compost handout to understand what's compostable where on campus.

    Compostable

    • compostable dinnerware
    • meat
    • dairy
    • fruits and vegetables (raw or cooked)
    • tea bags
    • coffee grounds and filters
    • bread, cereal, rice, pasta, and other grains
    • eggs and eggshells
    • unbleached paper towels and napkins
  • Where does the compost end up?

    Residential and office food scraps go to Long Lane Farm, where they are mixed with wood chips and processed into compost inside two Earth Tubs. Finished compost is used as a soil amendment at Long Lane Farm.

    Dining hall food waste is sent to Quantum Biopower in Southington, CT.  This anaerobic digestion facility collects the gases released as food waste breaks down into compost, and harvests that gas as an energy source to generate heat and electricity.

  • How do I get a compost bucket?

    To request a bucket for an office or residence, fill out the bucket request form. Please be advised that the bucket supply changes with the season and new buckets are not always available immediately.

    Compost participants receive a 5 gallon bucket and instructions for collection and are responsible for emptying the bucket into the nearest black composting bin.
  • What do the Compost Interns do?

    The (amazing) Compost Interns are responsible for maintaining the residential composting program on campus and helping to reduce food waste across campus. 

    On a day-to-day level, that might look like:

    • Tabling for a future food waste reduction event at lunch and eat with fellow interns
    • Sending an email to Res Life to discuss ways to expand the composting program
    • Handing out food waste collection buckets to High Rise as a team
    • Posting on social media advertising the next composting event
    • Helping an Eco Facilitator ensure their bucket is groundhog proof
    • Getting a week’s worth of arm exercise shoveling and carrying filled compost buckets
    • Answering a friend’s text asking where they should bring their compost
    • Answering a random Facebook friend’s message about where they should bring their compost
    • Answering a parent’s voicemail about where they should bring their compost (noticing a theme?)
    • Driving an electric vehicle around campus and getting odd looks from students who aren’t sure what's going on

     

    Being a compost intern is dirty and smelly at times, but it is a really rewarding experience to be able to work on changing individuals’ behaviors while at the same time making a difference in the university’s carbon footprint and waste production through physical labor.  To contact the Compost Interns, email wesleyancompost@gmail.com