Composting is a way of processing organic waste such as food waste, leaves, grass trimmings, paper, and wood and turning it into a valuable organic fertilizer. 

At UNC Charlotte, the largest amount of compostable waste is collected at our two large dining halls, Social 704 and South Village Dining Hall. Food and napkins from plates are rinsed off and fed into machines called pulpers. The pulpers remove water (recycling it back for rinsing) and chop the food into small pieces. Food waste from the kitchens and cafes are collected and combined with the pulper waste. Food waste and compostable material is delivered to commercial composting facilities, including Earth Farms Organics, located in Gaston County. Earth Farms composts the materials using a windrow system. The completed compost can be used as a soil amendment in gardens, farms, landscaping, athletic fields and more.

In January 2024, UNC Charlotte launched a pilot compost program in the Fretwell building to reduce paper towel waste. Read more about the program here.