Talkin’ Some More Trash (and Responsible Waste Practices While We’re at It)

Things are looking a little greener in the AUD building this spring. The compost pilot that previously launched on the 8th floor is now expanding to floors 5 + 2. In the first 8 weeks of the 8th floor pilot, we were able to divert 55.27 lbs of organic waste from one floor alone. Imagine how much waste we could divert campus-wide. Well, now is your chance to join in on the composting fun!

In an effort to further sustainability efforts on campus, compost bins will be available on floors 2, 5, and 8 to collect any organic compost. The bins are available in the following locations.

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On Floors 8 & 5 of AUD

  • Congress Parkway Hallway: Central Stairwell
  • Michigan Avenue Hallway: Southeast Elevators

Second Floor of AUD

  • Bridge to Wabash Building

Signs will be located above the compost bins to educate people on what they can and cannot compost.  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 by keeping organic waste out of landfills.

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 continue to expand the program.

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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