View Compost Locations in a larger map

Why compost?

If we compost organic materials including apple cores, banana peels, coffee grounds, and bread crusts, we can reduce our contribution to landfill waste and contribute instead to a supply of all natural, nutrient-rich campus dirt – used for both research and landscape maintenance.

Where are our compost bins?

Campus compost collection sites are highlighted in the map above and listed below:

  • Lot 62 between the Natatorium and the School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Lot 76 near the Goodman Softball Complex
  • Behind Science Hall
  • Throughout the first floor of Union South
  • Capital Cafe in Grainger Hall

How does campus composting work?

Campus food waste is taken to the West Madison Agricultural Research Station for composting. The project is a partnership between the Office of Sustainability, WE CONSERVE, Transportation Services, Facilities, Planning & Management, and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Most of the resulting compost is used for research programs at the station. The remaining compost is sold to bulk buyers, and the funds are used to support the equipment needed to collect and process the waste.

The West Madison Agricultural Research Station is not an industrial composting facility. Therefore, compostable plastics (cups, silverware, etc) should not be placed in campus compost bins.

What’s compostable?

  • Breads and pastries
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Compostable packaging, including paper to-go containers
  • Egg shells
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Grains and pasta
  • Napkins, uncoated paper plates
  • Tea bags
  • Wooden chopsticks
  • Cardboard (cut into small strips)

What’s not compostable?

  • Plastic film and other food wrappers
  • Plastic utensils, cups, or containers (including compostable plastics)
  • Plastic-coated cups or plates
  • Styrofoam


For more information about composting on campus, contact us at

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