Minimizing Waste Across Campus 

One of Ohio State’s most ambitious goals is to achieve zero waste by 2025 by diverting 90% of waste away from landfills.

Organic waste represents approximately one third of Ohio State’s total waste stream. These organic materials, like food scraps, can be converted into a soil fertilizer through composting. Learn more about what you can do to compost.

Residence Hall Composting  Compost Drop-OffFAQVOLUNTEER

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compostable items list


Public compost bins are available in most residence hall lobbies next to reusable to-go container collection bins, as well as in kitchen spaces. Upon returning a reusable to-go container, empty any food scraps, napkins and compostable ware into the green compost bin. Then, return your reusable to-go container. When you prepare meals in the residence hall kitchen, be sure to compost any food scraps in the nearby green compost bin.    

Ohio State also offers students the opportunity to compost in their residence hall rooms. Composters who opt-in at the beginning of the semester will receive a 2.1 gallon compost bucket to collect materials in their rooms. After filling the bucket up with food scraps, napkins, paper towels and compostable containers, composters can empty their bucket in the centralized compost bins located in the residence hall. 

Residence Hall Composting Sign-Up


How to Compost in a Residence Hall

Step 1

Talk to your roommates about composting in your room or suite. Complete a Compost Program Roommate Agreement with your roommates/suitemates during the opt-in period. You will receive confirmation of enrollment in the program.  

Step 2

You will be emailed information during the compost bin distribution week about where to pick up your composting bin and the nearest centralized collection bin.  

Step 3

Placecompostable materialsin your bucket. The bins should have absolutely no plastic. To minimize odors and pests, consider keeping your bucket in the refrigerator and secure the lid tightly. 

Step 4

Empty your bucket as soon as it fills, or at least once-per-week at the centralized drop-off sites in your building.  

Step 5

Rinse your bucket in your residence hall’s kitchen sink and wipe your bucket clean as needed to prevent odors and pests. Do not empty materials or rinse in your bathroom sink, as this will cause clogs. 

Step 6

Repeat steps 3-5.


Students, faculty and staff in off-campus living areas are encouraged to participate in Ohio State’s food composting program, thanks to a grant from the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO). Collect acceptable organics materials at home and bring them to one of the seven drop-off locations about once a week when you come to campus for work or class.

Kitchenette Composting
Faculty and staff can also request a compost bin for their breakroom. Breakroom compost bins are not serviced by custodial staff, so requesters must be willing to empty compost bins at least once per week into a centralized collection container.