Composting and Food Waste

Bowdoin has made a significant effort to decrease its food waste and increase composting options for students and campus operations.  

Students composting

Both of our dining halls use accurate menu forecasting from sophisticated food management software to match food production to usage. If over-production occurs, Dining works with students on an efficient delivery system to appropriate leftovers to local non-profit organizations. Dining also diverts pre-and post-consumer food waste to a composting company that in turn provides compost to Bowdoin’s organic garden each year.  This same company also makes weekly collection stops at numerous locations around campus outside of residence halls to collect food waste. During the COVID pandemic, with more to-go meals being served, we have nearly twenty composting locations across campus.  Check our Fall 2021 Composting Map for locations.

In addition to the composting that goes on in campus dining operations, each of the nine College Houses has a residential composting bin on their property. Most of these bins are called Green Cones, which cover a 3-5 foot hole in the ground allowing bugs, worms, and natural decomposition to turn food directly into the soil. There are small collection bins in each house kitchen and residences are asked to empty the bins into the green cones as often as possible.