Santa Clara University




Find out how, where, and what to put in compost on and off campus.

What is compostable on campus?

All leftover food: Fruit, vegetables, bread, dairy, meat, fish, and bones
Food-soiled paper and cardboard: (any paper or cardboard product that is wet or greasy) Muffin & sandwich wrappers, pastry bags, pizza boxes
Dining Services to-go: Containers, plates, napkins, cups, fountain drinks (cups, lids, & straws)
Black plastic utensils are recyclable
Coffee & tea: Grounds & filters, cups & sleeves, tea bags, wooden sticks
Please recycle coffee lids
Paper Towels

View an image of compostable items.

Why can we compost meat and dairy?

At SCU, we use a commercial composting facility that operates at higher temperatures and can break down more compostable items than backyard composting.

Where do I compost on campus?

Composting bins are located in Benson Memorial Center, Mission Bakery, Cadence Cyber Cafe, Sunstream Cafe, Malley Fitness Center, Leavey Event Center, residence halls common areas and external waste areas, as well as various academic buildings. Need a compost bin near your area? Email

How can I compost in my residence hall?

Each residence hall has a green composting bin located in its external waste area. You may collect your composting scraps and toss them in those bins daily. You may The Center for Sustainability and the Housing Office offers free, year-rental compost pail program for campus residents to compost within their own rooms. Interested in becoming a part of the program? Email Additionally, residence hall communal restrooms have paper towel composting now.

How can I compost off campus?

The Forge Garden holds several workshops on both backyard composting and vermicomposting (with worms) throughout the year. Visit the Forge Garden "News and Events" page to find the next, upcoming composting workshop!

Return to Frequently Asked Questions about Waste Diversion.

Contact Us

Center for Sustainability
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053