From garbage to flowers: campus composts

  • Post author:

Reduce waste, produce dirt and grow lovely plants. New College provides the best way for students to positively impact the environment while having fun!

Why should I compost?

According to the EPA, the benefits of composting include preventing pollution by diverting organic materials from landfills, enriching soil with nutrients and helping the economy by reducing the need for water, fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture.

Composting food scraps makes life easier! You’ll take out the trash less because there will be less rotting food hanging around.

compost bin



Tip: Keep your compost bin in the freezer! It won’t smell and will only need to be emptied when it’s full.




Second year, Abigail “Abby” McAloon keeps a reminder near the garbage can to prevent her roommates from throwing food scraps into the trash.


What can I put in the compost?

YES! Organic material, veggie/fruit scraps, grains, egg shells, tofu, coffee grounds

NO! Meat, dairy, stickers, avocado or peach pits (they take too long to decompose), rubber bands (on celery or broccoli stalks), oily food (sorry no Ham Mac ‘N Cheese!)

What happens after students empty their room compost bin into one of the larger bins located next to each community kitchen, dorm and the Four Winds Café? Let me take you on a magical journey…


Gonzalez transports bins on the compost bike.

Compost TAs, third year Dylan Ricke and second year Juan Gonzalez, take your food scraps, by foot or on the infamous compost bike through 3 stages that turn waste into soil.


1) Ridan Composter


2) Maturation Bin

3) Verma Compost Bin


9 Worms aid the last step of the composting process.

First year transfer, David Bruch wanted some soil for his Pei Garden. Bruch and TA Ricke crank soil out of the Verma Compost bin.

When the compost is in its final stage the results are dirt and mulch formed by the organic matter. Ricke (left) and Bruch (right) sift through taking out the larger pieces of mulch and first year, Adrian Garcia.

12The final results, nutrient rich (not smelly) soil!

Any one on campus can ask for some soil, within reason, for personal garden use.

“I like composting because it’s good exercise, you do good work and get tangible results.” 3rd year, Dylan Ricke said

“If you like to get down and dirty, you should consider the compost tutorial next mod!” 2nd year, Juan Gonzalez said.

Any compost related questions? Contact your friendly neighborhood Compost TAs!

Leave a Reply