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Composting at Columbia

Historically, back-of-house (kitchen) and front-of-house food waste has increasingly been composted in dining halls at Columbia. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and NYC budget cuts to composting, the dining halls did not compost any waste in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021.

Pre-pandemic, the Dining Halls at Columbia (John Jay Dining Hall and Ferris Booth Commons ) have been composting all waste. Ferris used compostable utensils and plates/bowls, and John Jay used reusable utensils. These Dining Halls have been partnered with the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and the private carting company Action Carting.

Students were also able to compost food scraps at the Columbia Greenmarket on 116th and Broadway every Thursday and Sunday.

Effects of the pandemic

The Greenmarket composting was shut down.

EcoReps Involvement

EcoReps helps students to compost. In the past, EcoReps has provided small metal compost bins to students to use for the year. In summer and fall 2020 and spring 2021, EcoReps advocated/is advocating for composting to return to campus, and EcoReps has provided resources to students on where to compost, such as this list from Reclaimed Organics.