2016 – Present
Campus Composting works to reduce organic waste produced by the University community through public education about waste sorting and the implementation of composting infrastructure on and off-campus.
PSI received funding from the College and Student Life’s Green Fund to provide 50% subsidies on composting services for off-campus University students in Hyde Park.
We partner with Urban Canopy, a Chicago-area composting hauler that also works to improve food sustainability.
Check our feature in the Chicago Maroon to learn more.
in responders feeling "very aware" of their household's waste production
95% "great experience"
rating from responders rating an 8 or above on a 1-10 scale
Campus Composting and PSI Board members after a successful O-Week composting event.
During O-Week, campus composting helped at an event that UChicago held for incoming UChicago parents. With the event organizers, we worked to get our composting hauler, The Urban Canopy, to set up several bins around the event, with PSI members by bins to ensure there was no contamination. This effort was successful, diverting over 1,200 lbs. of organic waste.
After the success of this event, we applied and received a Green Fund Grant, so we can now engage in discussions with event organizers to begin offering an event composting service.
Student-Run Café Composting
Our most recent project will bring composting to student-run campus cafés. We implemented the project, and the head of student-run campus cafés, Parker McWatters, will administer the program in collaboration with The Urban Canopy. This PSI-external administration is a step towards our goal of implementing institutionalized composting at the University of Chicago.
This pre-consumer composting program, funded by a Green Fund Grant, will start in 2023.
After the success of our off-campus composting program, Campus Composting applied for and received a Green Fund Grant for their RGGRC Composting Initiative, an opt-in composting program for residents of Renee Granville-Grossman Commons residential hall. The group is excited to continue working with The Urban Canopy. The program launched in Spring 2022, and currently has 16 participants.
Our revised model is based off of a successful “opt in” program at Loyola that offers compost buckets and a weekly drop off location for all students, living on and off campus, as well as faculty members.
Campus Composting members promote the RGGRC Program next to the compost drop-off receptacle.
“An enormous portion of the waste that you create individually is food waste…both on and off-campus composting programs could divert so much of UChicago’s total waste output.”
- Co-Project Group Leader Andre Dang (in The Chicago Maroon)