News Feed

Composting on Campus

August 4th, 2017

Sustainable Campus Initiative (SCI) works to increase awareness about composting options, provide compost collection services, and push for initiatives to help the University of Waterloo provide environmentally sound options for waste disposal. By encouraging better waste management and diversion techniques on campus, SCI helps to make sure the University population is educated and involved in its own sustainability.

Group executives Silas Tsui and Wanning Luo took some time to answer questions about the campus compost program, upcoming projects and the importance of SCI on campus.

Why is composting so important for student life on campus?

Composting and organics collection is super important for waste diversion on campus, and students need to be fully on board in order for the University to eventually transition to campus-wide organics collection. Around 50% of our everyday waste is compostable, which also means that without campus-wide organics collection, we can only divert so much waste. As a student body, we need to not only show that we want on-campus organics collection, but also actively educate ourselves on composting to show that we are prepared for the transition.

Where can compost collection bins be found?

Our collection locations are still quite concentrated around Environment buildings, and we collect from a lot of faculty locations around campus. We are also making a push to increase our student-facing locations as we believe this will help with generating awareness.

For example in spring term 2017, we had student-facing locations at William's (Environment 3), ES Coffee Lounge (Environment 1), Math Coffee and Donut (Math and Computer), POETS (Carl Pollock Hall), Sustainable Campus Initiative (Student Life Centre), and Modern Languages Green Room (Modern Languages), and we are looking to add the AHS Undergraduate Lounge (B.C Matthews Hall) and Optometry Kitchen (Optometry building) to our list for fall 2017.

What changes to the compost program can students expect for fall term?

Each term is a little different. Our collection locations fluctuate a bit from term to term, but in general we are expanding our reach - from nearly 30 locations last term – both to divert more organic waste and to increase awareness for composting on campus.

We are also looking to take on more marketing initiatives that help with education, advocacy, and awareness. For example, we are planning to hold more events and provide more opportunities to learn more about composting. We're not above a shameless plug for recruiting: we are actively recruiting volunteers for our Operations and Marketing teams, and we are also looking for people to take on Social Media and Website Development roles.


Catch up with SCI at Clubs and Societies Days during Get Involved Week on September 21 and 22 in the Student Life Centre, and follow them on Facebook to stay in the loop.


Written by Leanna Walsh, Communications Assistant.