Recycling and Composting

Xpressnap Napkin Holders

Our Xpressnap Holders are just one solution to reducing energy and waste. They save 30 percent in paper over traditional napkin dispensing mechanisms. The great thing about these dispensers is that they help the environment while helping keep costs down. The napkins are made of 100 percent recycled paper and the dispenser will encourage customers to take (and waste) less napkins. Energy is saved because less power is used to recycle paper products than to create them from new material.

According to Xpressnap, enough is saved through utilizing recycled napkins to power 600 American homes for an entire year! More than half a million gallons of oil was saved—38 tanker trucks worth—and 41 tons of pollutants were kept out of the environment. 4,131 cubic yards of paper were diverted from landfill space. This is enough to cover an entire football field with a two and a half foot deep stack of paper!

Recycling in Our Dining Facilities

We recycle all paper, cardboard, plastics, metals and redeemables that we use in our dining facilities. Redeemables are carbonated beverages purchased in the state of Iowa. Redeemables are worth 5 cents each and the Sustainability department can use the money redeemed from those to maintain and replace recycling bins.

Other recyclables are properly disposed of and collected by the campus recyclers. We make sure that all of our staff and student workers are aware of the types of items that are recyclable and those that aren't.


Along with recycling, Luther College strongly supports composting, and our good waste composting initiative has been active for 12 years. The system is present in three of our dining locations: Marty's, the Cafeteria, and Oneota Market. Through this system all compost is transferred to a compost pile for processing and then used on campus! We make sure to label which items can be used for composting and which cannot.

Food, Purchasing, and Waste

As part of the Campus Sustainability Council initiatives, one sub-group is particularly concerned with good purchasing guidelines development, product planning of local produce, waste initiatives, real food change commitment and implementation, and student farm assessment briefings. The Dining Services has several members on this council every year.