Food & Yard Waste

Food Waste Composting

Denison University’s composting program was spearheaded in 2006 as part of a class project by then-first year student, Meredith Atwood (2009). She conducted a pilot project that measured how much pre-consumer food waste generated by Denison’s dining halls every day could be composted. As a result of these efforts, in the fall of 2007, Denison University constructed a composting facility on its grounds, directly behind the Denison University Physical Plant.

Now, usable compost is created every few months and is used as fertilizer on the campus grounds in place of commercial fertilizer and as a soil amendment in the new Campus Community Garden.

  • In 2009-2010, student Juan Pablo Sarmiento (2013), conducted another study on post-consumer food waste generated in the dining halls. Through his efforts, Denison modified its composting program to include both pre and post-consumer food waste.
  • In 2011-2012, new, larger composting bins were constructed out of recycled material from campus and then placed in both Curtis and Huffman Dining halls. Green Team, a student run organization focusing on sustainability, painted the bins in early 2012.
  • Denison has recently expanded its food-composting program to include all senior apartments. If you are a senior and would like to participate in the voluntary program please contact Jeremy King.


Denison's facilities can be utilized for composting the following post-consumer waste:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Pastas
  • Breads
  • Napkins

Waste to leave out, (as they take too long to compost):

  • Meats
  • Oils
  • Dairy products
  • Drinks