Frequently Asked Questions

Which option is right for me?

  • Worm bins are great for those who are interested in managing their own compost and want the finished product.
  • The collection route is great for those who are in larger departments and are willing to engage their department/building occupants to participate.

Will my compost bin start to smell and attract pests?

We believe that by removing your food waste from open trash cans and instead containing it in a lidded bin, you are less likely to encourage smells or attract pests. Secondly, if you are using a worm bin, you control how often your compost is emptied, whereas you typically cannot control how often your trash is removed.

If you are on our collection route, we provide a large cart just outside your building (much like a household yard-debris cart), as well as small bins to use inside your department. This way, the indoor bin can be taken out as often as you see fit and the outdoor cart will be serviced once a week.

What exactly is a worm bin?

Worm composting is a method for recycling food waste into a rich, dark, earthy-smelling soil conditioner using red wigglers. We provide a bin full of bedding and worms. Then you put your food scraps inside the bedding and the worms will process it. An advantage of worm composting is that you can keep the worm castings, which is one of the best and cheapest soil amendments for your garden. Also, if taken care of properly, worm bins won’t smell or attract pests. We will provide a list with tips and tricks to maintain a healthy worm bin.

Where will my compost go?

  • If you use a worm bin, the finished compost can be used however you like.
  • If you are on the collection route, the material will be processed at the Pacific Region Compost Facility, located about 11 miles north of Corvallis. There it will be mixed with yard debris and wood waste and made into a product that can be purchased by local farms, nurserys or private individuals.

Why should we compost in our department?

Composting is a topic of growing interest throughout the country for several reasons. The landfills around the country are starting to fill up and become more and more expensive. Composting is a beneficial alternative to garbage and healthy for the environment. Compost your office’s food scraps instead of sending them to the landfill. Help make OSU a better place to live.

What departments are already composting?

  • Ballard Hall - Agriculture & Resource Economics
  • CEOAS - College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Cordley Hall - Botany & Plant Pathology
  • Forest Science Research Lab - College of Forestry
  • Gilmore Hall - Bio and Eco Engineering
  • Gladys Valley Center - SMILE program
  • Kerr Admin. Bld. - Graduate Program, Research Office, Office of the Registrar
  • Kidder Hall - Mathematics Graduate Teaching Assistants
  • Property Services Building - Procurement, Contracts, & Materials Management
  • Richardson Hall - College of Forestry
  • Student Experience Center - Student Sustainability Initiative, Center for Civic Engagement
  • Valley Library - Library staff
  • Waldo Hall - Academic Success Center, University Exploratory Studies Program
  • Wilkinson Hall - College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Return to the main Composting in Departments page