Composting in Departments
Frequently Asked Questions
Which option is right for me?
- Worm bins are great for those who want the finished compost and are interested in managing their own composting.
- Compost drop points provide a great option for smaller departments who are interested in managing their own composting.
- The collection route is great for those who are in larger departments and are willing to engage their department/building occupants to participate.
Will my compost bin start to smell and attract pests?
We believe that by removing your food waste from open trash cans and instead containing it in a lidded bin, you are less likely to encourage smells and attract pests. Secondly, if you are using a compost drop point or worm bin, you control how often your compost is emptied, whereas you typically cannot control how often your trash is removed.
If you are on our collection route, we provide a large cart just outside your building (much like your yard debris cart at home), along with small bins to use inside your department. That way, your indoor bin could be taken out by you however often you would like (and we would service the outdoor cart once a week).
What exactly is a worm bin?
Worm composting is a method for recycling food waste into a rich, dark, earthy-smelling soil conditioner. We will provide the bin for you, which will be filled with bedding and some worms. Then you put your food scraps inside the bedding and the worms will process it. The advantage of worm composting is that you can keep the worm castings, which is one of the best and cheapest soil amendments for your garden. Also, if taken care of properly, worm bins won’t smell or attract pests. We will provide a list with tips and tricks to maintain a healthy worm bin.
Where will my compost go?
- If you use a worm bin, the finished compost can be used however you would like.
- If you are using a compost drop point, the site you use will determine what happens to your compost. At the ALS compost system, Crop and Soil Science students will incorporate your material into their compost systems as part of their coursework and use the finished compost at the OSU Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture. At the Student Sustainability Center, your material will be processed in one of their compost systems and used on their garden when finished. At the Property Services warehouse, your material will be processed at our local Pacific Region Compost Facility.
- If you are on our collection route, your material will be processed at our the Pacific Region Compost Facility, located about 11 miles north of Corvallis. There it will be mixed with yard debris and wood waste and made into a product that can be purchased by local farms and nurserys as well as private individuals.
Why should we compost in our department?
Composting is a topic of growing interest throughout the country for several reasons. The landfills around the country are starting to fill up and become more and more expensive. Composting is a cheap alternative for you and healthy for the environment. Compost your office’s food scraps instead of sending them to the landfill. You'll help to make OSU a better place to live.
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