Composting on Campus with UWCC

Friday, October 21, 2022
by Bethany Helaine Poltl

Tell us about yourself  

Campus Compost team
University of Waterloo Campus Compost is a club that operates under the WUSA Sustainability Project. Our team is student-run and is comprised of a smaller executive team supported by a larger volunteer group! Our mission includes organic waste collection across campus via our compost operations, and advocacy around sustainability through events and campaigns. 

What inspired you to start this initiative at Waterloo? What sustainability issues does your group support?  

To date, our fully student-run composting operation is perhaps the most unique among Canadian post-secondary institutions. Having selected and acquired a compost drum from Actium Composting in 2014-2015, UWCC executed our pilot operation, which ultimately ended in success and close to 2,200 lbs. of organics diverted. UWCC aims to promote a campus-wide composting service at the university from diverting organics from the regional landfill, as well as raising awareness of zero-waste and reduced-consumption practices. 

What was a memorable experience that you feel can or does have an impact on campus/community or more? 

Compost Cow
Since campus has re-opened, we host an operations tour for our volunteers and other interested community members every term to show how our operations are actually run. As much of our engagement with volunteers and the campus community is still largely online, having the opportunity to interact in-person is always memorable. Showcasing our operations introduces the concept of composting on campus, and ideally at home as well, to be more accessible. Composting is not meant to be a scary or a challenge, and we hope to show that it is actually pretty simple to do on campus. 

What is your vision of a sustainable future?  

UWCC’s vision of a sustainable future includes composting organic materials as a social norm, on all scales from on campus to an international level. We hope to see composting as an everyday practice that contributes towards an overall sustainable, environmentally-conscious future that avoids food waste where possible. Composting is an alternative to food waste, but making use of other alternatives and diverting waste should be considered just as viable! 

Are there any resources for those who are interested in learning more about the sustainability issue you care about or your club that you would like to share?  

Check out and follow our platforms for zero waste practices, opportunities to contribute, and creating new sustainability initiatives! 

General waste management  

Compost Cows with sign