Compost Alliance - Bringing Compost to Campus Buildings

Project Leads: Claire Evans, Parijat Chakrabarti, & Annie Gorden

Sponsor: Compost Alliance

TGIF Grant: $32,000

Project Theme: Waste Reduction

Project Location

2011 Application Submission

Application Metrics

Status: Phase I Complete, Phase II in Progress

Project Description: The Compost Alliance designs and implements campus building composting systems in collaboration with Physical Plant-Campus Services, which oversees both Custodial Services and Campus Recycling & Refuse Services. This system was piloted in 10 campus buildings and includes service, set-up, equipment, and educational outreach.

Goals: The current campus waste diversion rate is 42% of 9,700 tons of waste created by campus in 2009. By implementing composting within campus buildings, the Compost Alliance plans to raise this rate to 63%, which translates in 2,000 tons of waste diverted. A campus-wide composting system will eliminate an estimated 292 MTCO2e (292,000 kgCO2e). Conduct preliminary and post-implementation waste audits of the 10 pilot buildings. Create enough compost volume to collect in-house and therefore reduce costs and put saved monies directly to more composting implementation. Work closely with building managers and custodians to garner support and understand their needs and input with regards to composting. Create a campus standard for signage. Assist UC Berkeley in reaching its zero waste goal by 2020.

TGIF Blog Posts about Compost Alliance

2012 Poster

2011-2012 Accomplishments

  • Facilitated and participated in Berkeley Composters meetings, held twice per semester.
  • Installed composting and promoted waste reduction, recycling, and composting education in the following campus buildings:
    • A&E
    • Boalt
    • Barrows
    • California Hall
    • Eshleman
    • GSPP
    • Haas
    • Li Ka Shing
    • McLaughlin
    • Mulford
    • Richmond Field Station
    • Sproul
    • Stanley
    • University Hall
    • Wurster
  • Served as an educational resource for the following buildings (where composting was already well established)
    • Cory
    • Durant
    • iHouse
    • Sutardja Dai
  • Collaborated with interns from Campus Recycling & Refuse Services on education and outreach efforts, including the design of standardized campus signage.
  • Waste Metrics
    • Estimated that more than 18 tons of waste has been diverted from disposal in the landfills, and that 2,336 kilograms (kg) of CO₂E have been diverted from releasing into the atmosphere
  • Education and Outreach Success
    • Educated and connected with more than 1500 people over the course of the program. 
    • Reached a publicity tipping point where building managers and occupants are taking the initiative to contact Compost Alliance, looking to bring compost to their buildings.
    • Educational outreach tools have included newsletters, emails, and one-on-one educational interactions with building occupants.
    • Education and signage have noticeably reduced contamination of both the compost and recycling, as confirmed by Compost Alliance's waste audits. 
    • The new standardized and campus-wide signage has also been a key component of ensuring people know that waste protocols are uniform throughout campus.

Project Photos and Standardized Signage
Note: Please contact CRRS directly if you would like standardized signage, so that the signage size and printing are standardized throughout campus - please do not print the signs yourself.

2011-2012 Year-End Report

Compost Alliance received a 2012 TGIF grant to continue its efforts of institutionalizing compost within UC Berkeley campus buildings.


Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.