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Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability


Given that 40% of food in the U.S. goes uneaten and food waste contributes to climate change when disposed in a landfill, Loyola is taking bold action to address the food waste crisis by implementing an array of compost programs. By composting, much needed nutrients are brought back to soils yielding more delicious crops while reducing the use of synthetic fertilizers.

A dynamic partnership between Facilities Management Department, Institute staff and students which the focus is on campus sustainability operations to promote change through action.  The collection of food scraps at Loyola's Lakeshore campus continues to increase therefore contributes to improving our quality of life.

The Launch of Compost Collection at Loyola

Launched in August 2012, this program stared with the collection of produce scraps from food preparation and plate-waste from Simpson Dining Hall on the Lake Shore Campus. More than 62 tons of food scraps were hauled to a commercial compost facility during the pilot year.

In 2013, the program expanded to include De Nobili Dining Hall and Engrained Cafe along with Simpson.

Large to Small Dining Events‌

Loyola additionally collects plate-waste from small to large catered events.  Compost monitors play a critical role at these events as they help attendees place items in the appropriate bin.  ‌

Campus Compost Collective—“The Bucket” Program

The Campus Compost Collective is a program in which those at the Lakeshore campus -- employees and students living on campus (in agreement with their roommates), ‌can place their food scraps in a one-gallon bucket for weekly collection.  Buckets are provided.

The compost bucket program began in late October of 2012 and continues to grow. ‌Once students and departments start collecting food scraps generated while on campus, and experience how simple it is, they grow stronger in their commitments. Some departments are now collecting paper towels from their restrooms for composting!

Acceptable items include produce, meat, cheese, grains, coffee grounds, coffee filters, pizza boxes, paper napkins, and non-waxy paper plates and cups.

The program is open during the academic year: late August to mid-May with temporary suspensions during winter, spring and summer breaks.

Participants in the compost bucket program, bring their filled buckets to convenient drop-off locations on a weekly basis, and food scraps are then sent to a commercial compost facility. 

Faculty and staff are also encouraged to participate.

To participate as a STUDENT who lives on campus only, download the Student Campus Compost Collective Program Overview and Agreement Fall 2014, and e-mail your signed agreement to Gina Lettiere at glettie@luc.edu. From there, we’ll coordinate a time for you to pick up your bucket.

To participate as a FACULTY or STAFF, download the Employee Campus Compost Collective Program Overview and Sign Up Fall 2014, and e-mail your signed agreement to Gina Lettiere at glettie@luc.edu. From there, we’ll coordinate a time for you to pick up your bucket.

Winthrop Demonstration Garden

The Urban Agriculture Demonstration Gardens Project gives students the experience to learn about aerobic composting, urban agriculture, and benefits to the community when area businesses start composting. Produce scraps and leaves decompose to create rich nutrients when applied to the garden beds.


Institute of Environmental Sustainability
Loyola University Chicago · 1032 W. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60660 · Phone: 773-508-2130 · IES@luc.edu

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