Compost Pilot Program

Compostable materials are loaded onto a truck and delivered to nearby urban farms for composting.Wayne State University is dedicated to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and one of the best ways to do this is by composting! Composting prevents compostable material from rotting in landfills and emitting methane, one of the earth's most potent greenhouse gases. 

The Office of Campus Sustainability is leading WSU's Compost Pilot, a program which is distinct from those seen at other universities as it implements a closed-loop food system. The program involves collection and delivery of compostable materials from campus to nearby urban farms. From there, the farm controls the composting process to produce finished compost, a nutrient rich soil amendment, which is used to grow food on the farm and also brought back to the University for use in landscaping and the campus greenhouse.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Why is composting important?
    Composting reduces the amount of organic material sent to landfills by reusing it. The life cycle of organics allows for food to grow, the food scraps to be composted, and the compost to be used to grow more food. 
  2. Where does the food waste go?
    Through our partners on campus (Tower's Cafe, Starbucks, and Ground Services), we collect their organic waste and transport to our partner facility, Georgia Street Community Collective, where the compost process will take place. Once the compost is finished, it will be brought back to WSU for Grounds Services and for the Office of Sustainability Greenhouse.
  3. Can I compost at home?
    Absolutely! In fact, that is one of the leading ways you can live sustainably at the residential level. All you need to add to your pile browns (dead leaves, branches, paper), greens (food scraps, coffee grounds, grass clippings), and water! Don't have a yard? There are also indoor/countertop composting methods.
  4. What is/ is not compostable?
    A big question folks have that holds back the composting program is "can this be composted?" And yes, this can be tricky. Most all fruits and vegetables are totally safe for compost, but you may want to stay away from dairy or meat products (even though these are food scraps). A general list of things to avoid include: diseased plants or weeds, pet waste, dairy products, meat or fish bones and scraps, chemical pesticides. This will reduce the odor, reduce pest and rodent attraction, and will ensure harmful chemicals will not destroy beneficial organisms.
  5. How can I get involved at WSU?
    Beyond this website, you can find us on Instagram @warriorsustainability for more educational resources and other forms of sustainability on campus you can get involved in as well!
  6. I live in the residence halls, can I bring my compostable materials from home?
    In the future, we plan to add a community drop-off site on campus where students, faculty, and staff could bring their compostable materials while on campus. Stay tuned for more info on this in the future!

Students hold shovels high above their heads next to a large pile of compost.