Carnegie Mellon University

Food Waste Composting in your Office

After the introduction of food waste composting at many campus-wide events, departments around the campus have been enthusiastic about having a regular compost bin in the office. From November 2012 to January 2013, the Facilities Management Green Practices delivered food-waste composting bins across the campus. The compost collection sites are now available in many departmental kitchens and lunch rooms for easy access. Below are a few frequently asked questions about these compost stations:

Each station comes equipped with a poster listing compostable items. In general, any food waste (including meat), pizza boxes, coffee grounds/filters, Nature Works PLA #7 cups, tea bags, lunch room paper bags/napkins/towels or uncoated paper plates can be composted.  Certified compostable utensils made from either corn, sugar or potato starch are the only utensils that can be composted.  A list of ASTM D6400 or ASTM 6868 certified products are available at:

The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI)

The compost bins are lined with a certified compostable green bag and extra bags are located in your department.  If the bag is full, replace it with a fresh bag.  Remove it from the bin, tie a knot in it, and set it next to the bin.  The custodial staff has been trained to remove compost food-waste on a routine schedule.  For any questions or concerns about your departmental food composting program please contact, Barb Kviz;  bk11@andrew.cmu.edu or 412-268-7858.