The Weekly ComPOSTer (5/3): EQuad Cafe Pilot

Happy Friday!

Although this week might have been the last week of classes, there is still a lot happening around the S.C.R.A.P. Lab as we started a 2-week pilot food scraps and compostable service-ware effort at the EQuad Cafe.

This week, staff and volunteers from Campus Dining, Building Services, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences monitored the bucket dedicated to compostables and educated diners at the cafe about the effort. Key findings so far include:

  1. Most people were very receptive to the idea of composting and took time to stop and and look at the signage and information on the LCDs.
  2. The team received insights into consumer disposal behavior and how to better position the compostable bin in the cafe in order to attract people and divert material.
  3. Similar to other events, napkins and the food service-ware (World Centric plant fiber clamshells and Chinet plates) made up the majority of the contents of the compostables bucket

In Week 2 of the EQuad Cafe Pilot, there will be no bin monitoring and education. We will evaluate how well prior messaging/education as well as the continued signage impact usage and contamination rates (unfortunately other items offered at the cafe such as utensils, soup containers, and coffee cups are not compostable in our composting system due to the greater thickness of their respectable materials and the need for higher decomposition temperatures).

Check back for our findings!

Weekly Data: 4/19 – 4/25

Last week we processed 3,454 lbs. of uneaten food, 188 lbs. of which came from our satellite locations in the academic/residential buildings which is an all time high as diversion awareness continues.

Total Food Campus Center/Cafes Academic/Residential Buildings


Wood shavings (BA/CS)


Compost Off-loaded GHG Emissions Saved (MTCO2eq)
Week Totals (lbs.) 3,454 3,266 188 1,054 31% 3,500
CUMULATIVE (lbs) 74,615 73,764 850 23,127 31% 63,000 22