Recycling Resource Center {Facilities & Service Enterprises}

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Companion resources

"The soil is the great connector of our lives, the source and destination of all."
Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America, 1977


Compost Windrow


History and Significance

Natural Resources composting in action

Collecting composting has a long history at SF State, starting in the 1980s. At one point then student-run Recycling Resource Center had an aerobic digester purchased through a grant received from the City of San Francisco's Department of the Environment. The latest phase of composting started as an project in 2006 at Cesar Chavez Student Center (CCSC). There were initially three phases:

  • Composting in the kitchens at the restaurants
  • Composting Pilot Station for student education
  • Converting all dinnerware to compostable plastic, such as utensils and to-go containers

CCSC is currently expanding the program and researching affordable options for vendors to purchase compostables. Housing worked with City Eats and Facilities worked with the Vista Room in Burk Hall to add compost collection to their kitchens. Long term goals include expanding collection campus-wide. Initial steps include composting paper towels from the restrooms, as seen in CCSC.

Compost is food and green waste converted into nutrient rich soil, which:

  • RETURNS nutrients to local farms and vineyards
  • DIVERTS up to 36% of waste from Landfill [1]
  • REDUCES Greenhouse Gas Emissions [2]
  • SAVES valuable land space
  • CLEANS contaminated soil [2]
  • DECREASES the need for toxic fertilizers and pesticides [2]

Yard Waste

Composting on Campus

  • All of the Yard and Green Waste that is compiled by the Grounds Staff is composted in a collection site near the Parking Garage. For large pickups, or special arrangements, contact Caitlin Fager at the Recycling Center at x53868.
  • Composting bins are available in two locations at Cesar Chavez Student Center. Look for the Green Bins:
    • The West Plaza station
    • The indoor Pilot Station between Taqueria Girasol and Café 101.

Compostable Material

Greenware Compostable Cups

  • All foods — meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy
  • Food soiled paper products – paper plates, paper trays, coffee cups (no lids), soda cups, napkins, and paper towels
    • Even paper trays with printed ink can be composted because of the unique process used at our local composting facility, Jepson Prairie.
  • Compostable Plastic – Natureware cups with green label
  • Wooden stirrers and chopsticks

Simple Steps to Sustainability

  • Rethink what you need. There is no need to take something you will immediately discard.
  • Reuse items when possible. Cloth napkins can be kept in your office; many students also carry them, along with untensils.
  • Sort your discards before you get to the trash cans. This will make it faster

Be sure to remove the plastic lids and straws from your coffee and soda cups and place plastics in the blue recycle bin.

[1] SF Environment.
[2] U.S. EPA

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