KSU’s composting program helps to divert waste from landfills and return nutrients to the soil. Read below to find out how and what to compost on campus.


  • Fruit & vegetable scraps 
  • Meat, bones, & fish products  
  • Pasta, bread, & cereal  
  • Cooked foods  
  • Coffee grounds & filters  
  • Tea bags (remove any staples from teabags first)  
  • Wooden chopsticks, toothpicks, & skewers 
  • Paper towels, napkins, & tissues 
  • Uncoated paper food packaging  
  • Pizza boxes (cut into smaller pieces if able) 
  • Muffin wrappers  
  • Paper plates (unless coated with a plastic liner) 
  • Items that are BPI certified compostable 
  • Items labeled ASTM D6400 or D6868 


  • Plastic 
  • Produce stickers  
  • Chip bags & candy wrappers 
  • Metal cans 
  • Glass 
  • Wood  
  • Foam packaging 
  • Dental floss & cotton swabs  
  • Disinfecting wipes & baby wipes  
  • Items labeled biodegradable  


The Office of Sustainability also offers a short compost training session to departments, classes, or student organizations. If you'd like to request a training or have questions about KSU's composting program, please email us at

Learn More

  • Composting is a process that turns food waste and other organic materials into a soil amendment. These materials are broken down by natural decomposers so the minerals and nutrients can be absorbed by plants. 

  • Food Waste is a big issue across the globe and here on campus. The UN Food & Agriculture Organization estimates that 1/3 of all edible food globally is lost or wasted. In 2019, a food waste audit was preformed at the commons and found that enough edible food is left on plates in 1 day to feed a family of four for almost 3 months.

    In 2018, over 35 billion tons of food were sent to landfills in the United States. When food waste and other organic material is buried in landfills it produces methane. Methane is a GHG that is more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.

    By composting we return nutrients and minerals to the soil to help our plants grow better. Composting also helps prevent the creation of methane.

  • There are compost bins on all the upper floors of the Academic Learning Center.
  • Biodegradable items may breakdown, but don’t always fully decompose in a reasonable amount of time; they can leave behind microplastics in the compost which can be absorbed by plants.
  • Some paper products are coated with a thin layer of plastic or wax that can’t be composted. This is done to keep the paper from getting soggy or to add strength. Coated paper products usually can’t be recycled either. Check to see if your paper product looks glossy or look for a label that says compostable deciding where to put your used paper products.

  • Backyard compost systems can't accept some of the above items. This is because industrial scale composting generates higher temperatures than small scale composting which helps to breakdown more types of materials. If you use a compost company at home, always check what they can accept.