Dining Compost Collection
INITIATIVE NAME Dining Compost Collection
UNIVERSITY Wesleyan University
TAGS students | compost | waste reduction | food waste | dining
CONTACT Jennifer Kleindienst <jkleindienst@wesleyan.edu>
WEBSITES www.wesleyan.edu/sustainability/recycling/compost.html


Usdan and Summerfields dining staff collect both pre- and post-consumer food scraps. Dining Composting Interns work with Bon Appetit to keep the program running smoothly.


2012-13: 5 tons pre-consumer food waste collected (Usdan dining hall only)

2013-14: 13 tons pre-consumer food waste (Usdan only), 30 tons post-consumer food waste (primarily from Usdan, some from Summerfields dining hall; began collecting in early 2014)

2014-15: 16 tons pre-consumer food waste (Usdan and Summerfields), 37.5 tons post-consumer food waste (Usdan and Summerfields)


We had to hire a new composting intern to collect buckets on weekends and rinse out buckets daily.  It took over a year for the process to get institutionalized, especially among the dining hall staff.  When we introduced post-consumer collection, it took another year of buy-in.  We compost pre-consumer waste on campus in Earth Tubs and post-consumer waste off-site at a commercial facility.


Make sure to have good communication between whomever is involved (dining hall management/staff, physical plant, student workers, etc.) to prevent hiccups.  Also make sure to have each and every task and component of the program accounted for (who collects, who dumps, who trains, who washes buckets, who pays for bags and replacement buckets, etc.)


We'd like to handle all food waste on campus in an in vessel unit (to replace aging Earth Tubs and the off-campus trip for post-consumer waste), but the up-front costs and/or labor requirements are currently too prohibitive.