Carnegie Mellon University

Food Waste Composting

A food composting program began in Pittsburgh the summer of 2008 and Carnegie Mellon started their food composting program in the University Center October 2008.  All food prep from dining & catering, coffee grounds, and leftover food on trays from Schatz Dining Room were included in the food composting program. The with the summer programs of 2010, pre & post consumer food was collected from the Resnik Dining Hall.  Several departments and vendors now bring their coffee grounds to the compost dumpster.  Many near zero waste events have been held on campus, where almost everything was either composted or recycled.

In 2019, Carnegie Mellon composted 654 tons of food waste with our composting company AgRecycle!

Food waste report 2006 [pdf]


The campaign for a SW PA organic waste management program [pdf] began in 2001 and took action to develop a coalition of regional stakeholder groups, including the PA Department of Environmental Protection, (DEP), Professional Recycler's of PA (PROP), County Recycling Coordinators, University Representatives, commercial composting companies and others.  The charge was to explore effective ways [pdf] SW PA communities could recycle food and other organic waste. The Allegheny Food Waste Composting Coalition received a $6000 technical assistance grant in 2002 from the PA DEP and commissioned an organics recycling feasibility study. In 2003, Carnegie Mellon students conducted a cost benefit study [pdf] for pre-consumer organics recycling at the university. In 2004, the coalition received a PA DEP 902 grant for $30,000 through Allegheny County for Food Composting Program Development. This grant was awarded early 2005 and administered by the Pennsylvania Resources Council.  AgRecycle recieved a grant to purchase a food waste collection truck in 2007.