person standing on dirt made from compost

Composting at Macalester

  • Composting keeps waste from entering a landfill or being incinerated.
  • Landfill items break down and release methane gas, having a greater green house gas impact on our atmosphere, where composting does not produce methane.
  • Macalester’s trash is incinerated to create electricity, which has a smaller carbon footprint. According to a 2014 waste sort, 77% of the college’s trash could be recycled or composted instead of being thrown away.
  • The composte Macalester produces is picked up by our waste hauler and brought to the Mulch Store in Empire Township.

Where Can I Compost?

Labeled compost bins should be available in all buildings, located in common areas of nonresidential buildings, kitchen spaces in dorms, and bathrooms with paper towel dispensers.

What is Compostable?

  • All food scraps
  • Napkins, paper towels, tissues
  • Paper plates, cups and food containers
  • Paper bags and waxed paper (fast food wraps, etc.)
  • Coffee grounds, filters and tea bags
  • Pizza boxes
  • Compostable silverware and cups with the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) logo

What is Not Compostable?

Plastics #1-#7 (not bearing the BPI logo), styrofoam, foil, condiment packets, chip bags and candy wrappers (Please note: depending on the product, BPI plastic also bears the #7 recyclable symbol).

Who Composts?

  • Bon Appétit catering is committed to using compostables.  Whether buying something at one of their retail locations on campus or catering with them, all of their products are compostable.
  • In 2015, Macalester College Student Government committed to only purchasing compostable wares with their funds.

How to Order Compostable Dishes?

  • Request dish ware using the Compostable Wares Order Form for any size even
  • On-campus departments orders will be delivered within 24 hours, while Student Organizations will pick up their ordered items from Document Services after you receive your confirmation email (Please note: Leaders must write “student org” when prompted for a FOAPAL to receive dish ware paid for by MCSG).

Composting Saves Money

  • Material sent to a landfill or incinerator is subject to a 70% tax – 17% is a state tax while 53% is assessed by Ramsey County.
  • Compostable material sent to a commercial compost site is not taxed by Minnesota or Ramsey County, which creates a financial incentive for its residents and businesses to do the right thing.
  • The Sustainability Office has found that the compostable wares that Macalester buys are significantly less expensive – per piece – than any other retailer.
  • For further information contact the Sustainability Office at .