At the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, you can do your part for the environment by keeping food waste out of landfills, and you can also help reduce waste costs. Composting is easy, and anyone can do it.
To schedule an educational presentation on composting call 608.342.3978
Composting is an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective way to divert waste from the landfill. When composted, food and paper products are converted to nutrient-rich soil in three months or less, rather than sitting in a landfill for hundreds or even thousands of years before breaking down.
Composting costs our campus an average of $56 per ton, while landfill waste costs an average of $168 per ton.
How Can We Compost?
Each hall or office is responsible for taking their own compost to the outdoor compost bin located next to your dumpster. Here are some ways to collect your compost before taking it outside:
- Borrow a 5-gallon compost bucket from the Pioneer Restore for your residence hall communal areas
- Use plastic grocery bags or ziploc bags, but don’t compost the bags; empty the compost then rinse and reuse the bags
- Use bowls or containers from the thrift store
- Use empty food containers with a lid like coffee containers, ice cream pails, or large yogurt containers
- Buy compostable “biobags.” They are available at Driftless Market on Main Street or online.
What can be composted?
Because our compost goes to a commercial-grade facility, it can handle a wider variety of materials than most backyard compost systems might. You can place any of the following in your compost bin:
- Vegetables and fruit
- Meat (including bones)
- Paper products (paper plates, napkins)
- Off-white “plastic” utensils, actually made of cornstarch, and cardboard to-go containers from the Markee Pioneer Student Center. Remove the tin foil lining first.
Where can we compost?
All residence halls have a compost bin located next to landfill and recycling dumpsters, except Rountree Commons.
Be a Waste Warrior in your hall and learn more about hosting a composting bucket for your floor.
UW-Platteville is proud that Bridgeway Commons, The Crossing, and Catering all compost food waste behind the scenes.
In April 2015, we switched our compost provider to a company called Sanimax. They pick up the compost using a dump truck and take it to a digester in Dane County where it produces electricity, and is converted into a dry soil-matter, which is then added to Purple Cow Compost.
Switching our provider to Sanimax has allowed us to scale up our compost program and increase the types of items accepted. Because Sanimax has a very tightly controlled composting process, we are able to compost a very broad range of items including dairy and meat, as well as paper towels and the compostable utensils and to-go containers used in the Markee Pioneer Student Center.
Communal Compost Site
Everyone is invited to drop off their personal compost in the public compost bin located between McGregor and Royce halls in the Edible Campus Garden, managed by Green Campus Project student organization.
If you do use this compost bin, please place your compost in the right-hand bin. As the compost ages, it will be transferred to the bin on the left. Because this bin is relatively small, it will not reach very high composting heat, so we ask that you limit your compost to plant-based materials only. This will help reduce unwanted bacteria.
If you have your own backyard, setting up a compost system at home is easy. Here is some information on how to do it.
Be sure to keep your personal compost containers clean inside the building, or they can quickly start smelling and attracting fruit flies. We recommend washing the container out (or replacing the biobag) at least a few times per week, depending upon what type of food is being composted. Dry items like bread and cereal take longer to smell than wet items.
All outdoor bins will be picked up and washed out once per week by Pioneer Restore staff. There is no bin service during winter or spring break. The last day of service for the year is the Friday before finals. Service resumes again during the second week of classes in September each year.