Talkin’ Trash (and Makin’ Compost) at RU

It’s official — the 8th floor of the Auditorium Building (or, “AUD 8” for short) is now the coolest floor on Roosevelt’s Chicago Campus. Why, you may ask? Well, Physical Resources and the Sustainability Studies Program have just launched a composting pilot project on this floor.

In an effort to further sustainability efforts on campus, the 8th floor will be participating in a 30-day composting pilot. Compost bins are now available in three convenient locations noted in this neato map created by recently graduated business major and honors program student, Tom Smith (BSBA ’16):


  • Southeast Elevator Bank on Michigan
  • Central Stairwell on Congress
  • Northwest Elevator Bank on Wabash

Signs will be located above the compost bins to educate people on what they can and cannot compost. Compost will be accepted throughout the day up until 5pm. At the end of the day, volunteers will pickup collected organic waste, weigh it in RU’s Urban Sustainability Lab so we can track home much food waste we’re diverting from the landfill, and take it to the Wabash Dining Center. Here food waste is composted through a SOMAT waste disposal system, located behind the scenes in the Wabash Dining Center. Once collected and taken offsite, it is converted into compost, with some eventually making it to the Schaumburg Campus to be used in the community garden.


Instructional Signage created by: Thomas Smith

Why is composting important you ask? Organic matter makes up about two-thirds of all refuse in the waste stream. By composting, we can keep organic matter out of landfills that could be used to provide nutrients and helpful micro-organisms to lawns, gardens, and potted plants. Think of compost as a protein shake for your garden. Even more importantly, we reduce the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from landfilling.

The ultimate goal of the pilot is to research and develop methods to make composting a campus-wide initiative.  The pilot would not have been possible without all the work done by RU alumni and current students, faculty, and members of Physical Resources. We appreciate your participation in this pilot program and welcome any feedback or suggestions that you may have as we get it rolling.

If you have any questions or suggestions, or would be willing to volunteer to perform a compost pickup, please contact Moses Viveros (, SUST Student Associate.

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