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Composting 101

A collection of resources for composting on grounds

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Learn how to identify compostable products! 

All of the items pictured below are certified compostable products. 

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Compost Locations on Grounds

Pictured:  The Castle and Fine Arts Cafe. O'Hill Dish Return (Compost can be returned to the bins located near the dish return in O'Hill, Fresh Food Co. and Runk.)


*These logos to identify compostable products:


Composting FAQs

Why should I compost?
According to the EPA, food waste makes up about 22% of the total solid waste in landfills. Food that ends up in the landfill is not able to decompose properly, causing the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Composting diverts this food waste from the landfill so that it can be turned back into nutrient-rich soil. Products made with organic materials can also be composted, such as the to-go boxes in the dining halls. 
UVA Sustainability has the goal to reduce food waste and single use food serving items sent to the landfill by 2030, and landfill less than 2000 tons of waste per year by 2035. By offering compost in all three dining halls and across grounds, we can move one step closer to this goal. Read more about UVA Sustainability here: 
Where can I compost?
UVA Dining has compost bins located in the Fine Arts Cafe, West Range Cafe, The Castle, and the dining halls. Look for signage that shows what is compostable so we can avoid contamination! UVA Dining Staff track waste in residential locations and compost all food waste from food preparation (pre-consumer) and food disposal (post-consumer). Do your part and help us decrease waste at UVA!
This semester, most of the materials in the dining hall are single-use and compostable. Be sure to place your food waste, utensils, to-go boxes, coffee cups and lids, napkins, and any other compostable materials in the compost bins located by the dish return. 
What can I compost? 
  • Paper products 
    • Napkins​
    • Paper plates + cups
    • Paper coffee cups/sleeves
    • To-Go boxes from dining locations
  • Food
  • Compostable utensils 
  • Cardboard without wax
  • Tea Bags
  • BPI Certified Products and EcoProducts
What can NOT be composted?
  • Paper items lined with plastic
  • Plastic
  • Aluminum
  • Glass
These items are recyclable. Make sure to place them in the proper recycling bin. Do not place these items in the compost bins.  ​
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