Food waste composting at Luther College has been going on for twelve years.  It was pioneered in 1997 by Bob Chapman, a former facilities staff member who had a personal interest in composting.  The system at Luther has seen a variety of incarnations, but currently, food waste composting at Luther occurs at three dining locations: the cafeteria, Marty's, and Oneota Market.  Recycling student workers pick up compost from the union dock on a daily basis and haul it to a central passive composting pile for processing before use on campus. 

For an in-depth look into composting at Luther, check out this Compost at Luther College document.

Check out results from our latest compost audit here.

What to Compost?

  • Vegetables, including beans (no salad dressing please).
  • Grains such as bread, rice, pasta (Marinara is okay, but not Alfredo), cereal without milk
  • Fruit
  • Paper napkins (not wax paper)

Please Do Not Compost:

  • Meat or eggs (egg shells are okay)
  • Dairy
  • Wax paper, plastic, silverware
  • Oily foods, sweet foods, deep-fried foods, desserts, salad dressing or other oil

For a printable version of Luther's composting guidelines click here.

Pre-consumer Composting

Pre-consumer compost is collected in the kitchens of the cafeteria, Marty's, and Oneota Market.  Fruit and vegetable peelings and trimmings make up most of the compost stream, along with certain types of paper, coffee grounds, coffee filters, and egg shells.  Food waste is not composted in the dish room or in other parts of the kitchen.  Some leftovers are composted, mostly rice, never protein products, and rarely pasta (plain pasta rarely goes to waste).

Post-consumer Composting

The cafeteria on campus offers post-consumer composting.  Post-consumer compost in the cafeteria is collected in two blue bins at either end of the tray return, adjacent to brown trash bins.  The bins are clearly marked by labels both on the wall above each respective bin, and on the bins themselves.  There are also signs above each compost bin denoting what food items are compostable and which should not be composted.