Recycling & Waste Reduction
What is Compost?
Compost is the process of decomposing organic matter, such as foodwaste, soild paper products, and plants to transform into use as a fertilizer and soil amendment.
The following can be Composted at UCSF
- Coffee grounds and filters
- Doughnut boxes
- Food and tea bags
- Paper cups and plates
- Paper milk cartons
- Paper towels
- Pizza boxes
- Waxed cardboard
Rules to keep in mind:
- If it was made from a plant, tree or animal it’s compostable.
- If you are using a paper or waxy product to eat off of, it belongs in compost.
- If it can rot or decay naturally, it belongs in compost.
- If you bought your milk product in the refrigerator section, it belongs in compost.
- When in doubt, put it in the garbage!
Did you know Composting can…
- Divert waste from the landfill
- Eliminate / reduce the need for chemical fertilizers
- Gradually releases nutrients back into the soil
- Reduce run-off and water pollution
- Accelerate nutrient cycling
- Loosen the soil
- Sustainably improve the soil
Closing the Loop
Choosing to place your compostable items into the compost bin has impact! Compostable organics make up more than 20 percent of the material UCSF disposes of. If compost is simply hauled away as garbage to a landfill, it is fated for anaerobic decomposition (meaning no oxygen present), which produces significant quantities of methane gas, 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.
In contrast, composting the same material in a well-managed compost facility is fundamentally an aerobic process, which does not produce methane. According to the Composting Council, if everyone in the United States composted all of their food waste, the impact would be equivalent to removing 7.8 million cars from the road.
In addition to the greenhouse gas benefits, composting at UCSF contributes to a closed-loop system. Once collected from the campus, UCSF’s compost is transformed over a 60-day period at a compost facility in Vacaville, where it is turned into nutrient-rich compost for California vineyards and farms.
Picture Examples of Compostable Items
|Coffee Sleeve||Condiment Cup||Apple||Orange||Milk Carton|
|Paper Cup||Paper Plate||Paper Tray||Paper Towel||Pizza Box|
|Soup Bowl||Spice Packet||Stir Stick||Take Out Box||Tea Bag|