Housing, Dining Expand Composting Efforts

This spring, Dining Services launched composting programs in Brittain and North Avenue Dining Halls, and Housing and Residence Life distributed composting bins to three residence halls — Hopkins and the two Grand Challenges (GC) Living Learning Communities dorms, Howell and Cloudman — to assess the feasibility of implementing a composting program for all East Campus housing. Composting bins already exist at the North Avenue Apartments, Graduate Living Center, and 10th and Home Apartments.

Grand Challenges student assistants Madison Reddic and Ramsey Cook helped initiate the program after meeting with Malte Weiland, senior sustainability project manager for Auxiliary Services.

“There’s already a lot of progress being made in composting on Georgia Tech’s campus,” Cook said. “The first step is rolling out opportunities for interested students to compost. If the entire campus community composted, we could drastically reduce our impact on global warming.”

To compost, students simply collect their compostable waste, either in their room or the common area kitchen, and empty it into the black compost collection bins closest to their residence hall. They can use any type of container to collect the compost waste, and those who want to use compostable containers can contact a Residence Life staff member.

Additionally, staff members at Brittain, North Avenue, and the Student Center will now be sorting and extracting compostable materials.

Both Housing and Dining have partnered with CompostNow, an organization that assists businesses and individuals in diverting waste from landfills into composting. The material resulting from East Campus food waste will be returned to the Georgia Tech community garden and delivered to area farms by CompostNow to replenish nutrient content naturally.

Since September, the three major dining halls and Student Center have diverted more than 129,000 pounds of waste from landfills and into composting centers. The Student Center led the way, with over 38,000 pounds collected both from its day-to-day operations and various catering events.

“This is just one step in our fight against food waste,” said Jordan Barron, sustainability director for Georgia Tech Dining Services.

Dining wants to continue to expand its composting program, including making all food and containers from the second-floor West Village micro-restaurants compostable and adding signage in both Brittain and North Avenue. The signs will describe the composting process and explain its benefits for the environment and the people who receive the recycled material.

In addition, Housing is hoping to expand its composting program to West Campus residences.

“We want to help make this a normal practice for students, and hopefully they will take some of that with them when they leave campus,” said Weiland.

Dining and Housing both have open-door policies when it comes to composting. Students are encouraged to ask about the impact that each department’s program has had on campus and the environment. CompostNow also offers residential services for anyone living off-campus who’s looking to start composting on their own.

To learn more about Georgia Tech’s composting programs and other campus sustainability initiatives, visit:

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