5 R’s of Waste Reduction: Rot

The 5 R's of waste reduction continued...

New Bins on CampusRot refers to composting or using the green bin program for organic waste rather than throwing it into the garbage.

Last year, over 80% of the waste on campus that went to landfill could have been recycled or put in the compost. We have lots of great opportunities to improve that this year!

Composting on campus

Waterloo is excited to excited to launch its first wave of standardized waste and recycling bins at Food Services areas and cafeterias, which now accepts public organics collection for food waste, paper towels, and paper plates. Campus members can bring their personal organic waste down to these collection bins to divert waste from the landfill. 

Campus Compost, a student-run campus-based organization, also supports composting initiatives on campus. Starting in 2014, they now provide a full compost service at 25 locations across campus. Organic waste collected from campus compost is made into fertilizer in the composting cows located next to ML (Modern Languages) and later used for campus facilities. 

What you can do at home

If you live in a house, you should be able to take advantage of the Region's green bin collection program. Use your green bin to collect your food waste scraps and other organic waste. The City of Waterloo collects green bins weekly, and you can check the collection schedule to find your collection day.

Items that can go in the green bin:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat and fish
  • Nuts and shells
  • Small paper products
  • Dairy products
  • Grains and rice
  • Coffee grounds and tea leaves
  • Small wood products (products made of organic material, like wooden chopsticks)
  • Compostable containers and napkins

You can find more information about what is compostable in the Region of Waterloo through the Waste Whiz app. 

There are many other ways to compost at home through a backyard composter or a digester which use oxygen or dried plant material to break down your organic waste. You can buy them at local hardware stores and the finished material can be used to spread on your lawn, which supports healthy plant growth in your own gardens! To find out more you can visit the Region's backyard composting website to find out more. 

Zero Waste Week returns to campus

Leading up to Zero Waste Week - starting October 15th! - find us at ‘Sort-A-Thon’ stations across campus to learn what goes into the green bin on campus and home. The Region of Waterloo Waste Management team will also be joining us and giving out free composting products to help you compost at home. We'll also be giving out free mason jars for the zero waste challenge, so stop by if you need one!