In 2008, a Waste Characterization Report found that 59% of waste generated by the NYU community is compostable. Since then, composting initiatives have been established to reduce NYU's environmental footprint and to ensure that recycling food waste is simple and easy for all students.
In both the consumption and food preparation areas, compost bins are being phased into select locations on campus:
- Kimmel Center Market Place
- Hayden Dining Hall
- Rubin Dining Hall
- Third North Courtyard Café
- Downstein Dining Hall
- U-Hall Commons Café
NYU School of Law Composting
NYU is also piloting compost collection for special events in academic buildings. Students and faculty should place all compostable materials in these bins.
Carlyle Residence Hall Compost Tumbler (click to expand)
A compost tumbler, a bin used to create compost, is located in the Carlyle Courtyard and provides the community at Carlyle Residence Hall an opportunity to compost in its own backyard. This tumbler allows Carlyle residents to turn their organic waste into local compost, with all compost generated from the tumbler donated to the NYU Community Agriculture Club. The rules for this tumbler vary slightly from those for dining hall compost bins, so read the following carefully:
What To Compost In the Carlyle Tumbler
- All Food except meat or dairy: Fruit, vegetables, bread, rice, pasta, etc.
- Coffee grounds & filters
- Tea bags
- Food-soiled paper (napkins, towels, plates, bags and newspapers used to line compost pails, etc.)
What NOT To Compost in the Carlyle Tumbler
- Plastic of any kind
- Liquids of any kind
- Compostable containers or silverware of any kind (this tumbler is too small to break down such materials)
- Other recyclables & trash
Quite simply, by composting, you can help your environment. The organic waste you put back into the environment can be made use of by other living things. It also allows you to recycle things that might have otherwise polluted a landfill or created toxic smoke in a garbage burning facility.
- Trash sits in a landfill and doesn't break down. Composting breaks organic waste down into a usable form of fertilizer.
- Biodegradable waste in a landfill breaks down to form methane, a potent greenhouse gas, while composting allows the waste to break down naturally, releasing only CO2 (a less potent gas).
- The methane produced from landfilling compostable materials results in 27 times as much greenhouse gasses as compared to composting these materials.
There, the collected compost is broken down into natural fertilizer and returned to the environment to contribute naturally to the food system.
If you live in a building that does not offer compost collection, you can still do your part by dropping off food waste to a local Green Market that will compost it locally. Freeze compost between market visits to prevent any smells or pest problems.
The EPA Compost Guide offers a helpful resource for learning about other composting initiatives nationwide.
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