Campuswide Compost Acceptance Guidelines

Effective as of September 1, 2019

The following is a list of all the materials currently accepted in compost collection containers on the OSU Corvallis campus:

  • All food (includes meat, bones, eggs, dairy, pre-consumer (prep scraps) and post-consumer (wasted food))
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Tea bags
  • Paper napkins
  • Paper towels (if NOT collected in restrooms)
  • Plants (leaves, grass, weeds, tree trimmings, etc.)
  • Clean wood and sawdust (NO paint, varnish, stains, particle board or plywood)
  • (In limited quantities) Paper bags, newspaper, or scrap paper may be used to line compost collection containers so they pour out clean, but large quantities should not be collected.
  • If you are planning an event or working at a food service location and wish to collect serving ware for composting, please see the next section, below.

If it is not on the above list, it is not accepted in compost collection containers. This means the following common contaminants are NOT accepted: nearly all serving ware (cups, lids, straws, utensils, plates, bowls, etc.), waxed cardboard, plastic bags of any kind, liquids, etc.

Serving Ware Compost Acceptance Guidelines

In certain circumstances such as in the back-of-house at food service locations and at special events, 100% pulped fiber plates and bowls may be collected for composting. Below is the policy for collecting these materials:

  • It is required that volunteers/staff monitor the collection to prevent/remove other serving ware (for example: staffed waste stations at events, trained dish room staff sorting at a dining facility, etc.).
  • Look for the following traits to find these approved products: 1) 100% pulped or molded fiber and 2) plates and bowls only. Product must be verified as containing 100% fiber with no other materials, whether or not those materials are labeled as compostable. For example, Chinet™ brand “molded fiber” plates and bowls are a commonly available product.
  • Composting of serving ware is only permitted where these types of plates and bowls are being used.
  • We understand there are many products on the market that claim to be compostable. The products detailed above are the only serving ware items approved for composting on campus. Other plate and bowl products and other types of serving ware are not allowed.
  • Serving ware of any kind is not allowed in department compost program, res. hall program, or unstaffed public area collection bins.

About Event Recycling

For details and to request organics, recycling, or trash collection at your campus event, please see our event recycling page.

Join Our Event Recycling Work Group!

Campus Recycling is forming a work group to develop tips and tools for campus event organizers who want to reduce waste! More information is coming soon. Please contact John Deuel via email or 541-737-2856 for inquiries.

Background

The purpose of OSU’s organics collection program is to collect food waste and other acceptable organic material that will be composted into a product that is used again as a soil amendment. Over the past three years, there have been changes made to the types of non-food products accepted by Republic Services (OSU’s compost hauler and processor). The current policy reflects those changes and includes revisions that became effective April 22, 2019.

OSU and its various departments and auxiliary organizations pay Republic to haul and process this material. Our collective effectiveness to reduce non-acceptable materials in our compost collections is critical to the success and growth of organics materials management on our campus. Failure to do so may result in OSU being charged disposal fees for loads of materials that don’t meet Republic’s standards or discontinuing collection of organics.

For More Information

Should you need guidance, educational support or other assistance to improve your compost collection, please email us.