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Sustainable 2nd Century

Sustainable 2nd Century

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  • Project Compost

    Part of the ASUCD, this student-run unit collects campus compost and teaches how to compost through the Experimental College.

  • Student Farm

    The Student Farm offers a wide range of opportunities for students to explore sustainable agriculture.

Take Action: Compost

 Your challenge: Turn leftovers into fertile soil to avoid sending them to the landfill.

Find a compost bin on campus

Photo: A woman putting an orange peel in a compost bin

The Memorial Union has clearly marked bins for compost vs. trash for the landfill and recyclables.

Most campus eateries — the Memorial Union, Coffee House, Gunrock Pub, coffee kiosks and Aggie Stadium — host compost bins, as do the four residential dining halls.

Residents in Segundo, Tercero, and Cuarto who wish to collect compost materials in their rooms and regularly drop the materials off at centrally located bins can visit Student Housing's online Waste Diversion Guide for more details.

Compost bins are also available in three pilot zero-waste offices, the Human Resources Building, John Muir Institute of the Environment and Mrak Hall, floors 2 - 4. 

Sort your compost carefully

This may sound elementary, but it is important to follow the posted directions at each compost bin. Different items can be included depending on where that particular bin's compost will go — whether directly to the Student Farm or to an industrial composting facility.

In zero-waste offices on campus, posters above composting bins (available in letter-sizelarger and in print from Repro Graphics) explain what can be composted from office settings. 

If compost is going into a naturally decomposing pile, then you most likely cannot include items such as soiled paper napkins and plates, meat and dairy products, compostable utensils and paper containers. On the other hand, most industrial compost facilities can accept these items as compost because they have effective ways of decomposing these items much more quickly than traditional composting methods allow.

If materials from a compost bin contain too much trash (that cannot be composted), then all of the bin's contents may have to go to the landfill.

Set up compost at work

If you work in an office or department at UC Davis that would like to set up compost bins, start with these templates to assess your building’s waste streams and then contact Waste Reduction and Recycling for further assistance.

Compost at home

Photo: A trash can with only food waste in it.

Have a separate bin for compostable waste at home.

If you don't live on campus, try starting your own compost pile at home. The student-run Project Compost provides information for composting on campus and in your backyard, including a step-by-step guide. The group also provides answers to a thorough list of frequently asked questions including which ingredients can be included in compost, such as citrus peels, newspaper or oak leaves. 

If you want to start your own compost but don't have a backyard to do it in, you might be interested in learning more about composting in a worm bin, which can be kept indoors or on a patio.

To learn more about composting, attend one of Project Compost's classes at the Experimental College or sign up for a workshop from the city of Davis.

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