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Composting

Enriching the Future

At the School of Environmental Sustainability, we’re busy converting today’s waste for a more organic tomorrow. You might even say today’s trash is tomorrow’s sustaining treasure.

Did you know?

40%

of food produced in the United States goes uneaten and is discarded

7 million

tons of organic waste is sent to landfills annually in Chicago

We can do better. And at Loyola, we are.

Here’s how it works:

Organic materials – mostly food and some of its packaging – decompose naturally. This creates a nutrient-rich mixture known as compost. And compost is a plant’s best friend. This stuff:

  • Helps soil retain moisture
  • Provides minerals and nutrients for plants
  • Reduces the need for fertilizers
  • Doesn’t wind up wasted in landfills

So before throwing away the following:

  • All food—fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, bones, cheese, grains
  • Coffee grounds & filters
  • Tea bags (no staples)
  • Non-waxy paper plates & cups
  • Pizza boxes
  • Paper napkins

Think COMPOST.

Loyola’s composting initiative: a brief history

About 10 years ago, we started collecting food scraps from preparation and plate-waste in Simpson Dining Hall – 62 tons worth at year’s end. The program expanded and soon added to the Campus Compost Collective which made it easy for the Loyola community to turn their discarded food scraps into organic waste – thousands of pounds every year.

Through dining halls, landscaping, special events, the compost bucket programs and more, we divert between 150 and 200 tons of organic waste from the landfill annually. That is 20% of all waste at Lake Shore Campus! This is then recycled into healthy soil amendment (compost) to be added to local farms and gardens.

The Facilities Management Department and partners work together to promote change through action. There are individuals and departments that take action by composting their food waste and used paper towels generated while on campus.

So we have this down, but it all starts with you.

How you can help today

Sign up for the Compost Bucket Program! For interested faculty, staff, and for students living on- or near-Lake Shore Campus, please complete an agreement form and send to sustainability@luc.edu. You will receive a one-gallon compost bucket and a weekly drop-off schedule. Then you can begin composting and join others across the University who are taking action and creating change.

All participants should view the Compost Bucket Program training on our YouTube channel

Composting at Events 

In addition to the dining halls and Engrained Café, additional compost collection can be accomplished at campus events, large and small. Contact the Campus Sustainability team to learn how you and your campus group can stage a Green Event.

Compost Contamination

Knowing how to compost correctly is essential before actually participating. Putting non-compostable items into a compost bin is called contamination and ruins the entire compost pile, which must then be sent to a landfill.

  • The composting service Loyola uses will not accept a compost pile that has more than 10% contamination.
  • Contamination isn’t just about foreign items that won’t break down in the soil. When non-compostable items like plastic bags get put into the compost bin, they can get stuck in the compost facility’s machinery, costing them time and money.

This means that proper composting counts. Compost correctly.

Did you know?

We can do better. And at Loyola, we are.

Here’s how it works:

Organic materials – mostly food and some of its packaging – decompose naturally. This creates a nutrient-rich mixture known as compost. And compost is a plant’s best friend. This stuff:

  • Helps soil retain moisture
  • Provides minerals and nutrients for plants
  • Reduces the need for fertilizers
  • Doesn’t wind up wasted in landfills

So before throwing away the following:

  • All food—fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, bones, cheese, grains
  • Coffee grounds & filters
  • Tea bags (no staples)
  • Non-waxy paper plates & cups
  • Pizza boxes
  • Paper napkins

Think COMPOST.

Loyola’s composting initiative: a brief history

About 10 years ago, we started collecting food scraps from preparation and plate-waste in Simpson Dining Hall – 62 tons worth at year’s end. The program expanded and soon added to the Campus Compost Collective which made it easy for the Loyola community to turn their discarded food scraps into organic waste – thousands of pounds every year.

Through dining halls, landscaping, special events, the compost bucket programs and more, we divert between 150 and 200 tons of organic waste from the landfill annually. That is 20% of all waste at Lake Shore Campus! This is then recycled into healthy soil amendment (compost) to be added to local farms and gardens.

The Facilities Management Department and partners work together to promote change through action. There are individuals and departments that take action by composting their food waste and used paper towels generated while on campus.

So we have this down, but it all starts with you.

How you can help today

Sign up for the Compost Bucket Program! For interested faculty, staff, and for students living on- or near-Lake Shore Campus, please complete an agreement form and send to sustainability@luc.edu. You will receive a one-gallon compost bucket and a weekly drop-off schedule. Then you can begin composting and join others across the University who are taking action and creating change.

All participants should view the Compost Bucket Program training on our YouTube channel

Composting at Events 

In addition to the dining halls and Engrained Café, additional compost collection can be accomplished at campus events, large and small. Contact the Campus Sustainability team to learn how you and your campus group can stage a Green Event.

Compost Contamination

Knowing how to compost correctly is essential before actually participating. Putting non-compostable items into a compost bin is called contamination and ruins the entire compost pile, which must then be sent to a landfill.

  • The composting service Loyola uses will not accept a compost pile that has more than 10% contamination.
  • Contamination isn’t just about foreign items that won’t break down in the soil. When non-compostable items like plastic bags get put into the compost bin, they can get stuck in the compost facility’s machinery, costing them time and money.

This means that proper composting counts. Compost correctly.