Composting at School

Recycle food scraps from school lunches and other organic material, like leaves and plant clippings, into nutrient-rich compost. We are here to help, so never hesitate to email Cher Mohring or call 513-946-7737.

  1. Haul-Away Composting
  2. Onsite Outdoor Composting
  3. Vermicomposting Indoors

Have food scraps hauled to a commercial composting facility. Commercial compost facilities can usually accept animal products (meat and dairy) and oily food in addition to fruit and vegetable scraps. Email the District for up-to-date information on local haulers, compost facilities, and tips.

Setting up Your Program

  • Find out what organics the hauling company can accept.
  • Seek input from school staff (teachers, janitors, cafeteria staff, etc.) about the new program prior to beginning.
  • Educate students and staff about composting. Be sure to let participants know that although you may compost animal products and oily food at a commercial composting facility, you should just compost plant-based materials when composting onsite.
  • Coordinate with kitchen and/or custodial staff about how to move the collected material from the cafeteria to the outdoor collection station.
  • Sorting in the Lunch Room: Put together a team of students, staff, and/or parent helpers to oversee the waste sorting station for each lunch period in the beginning. Make sure helpers are aware they need to teach students how to sort materials by themselves instead of doing the sorting for them. The goal is take make waste-sorting a habit.
  • Provide several waste-sorting stations to keep lines short.
  • Provide something for students to rest their trays on while they are storing their waste.
  • Encourage students to separate the waste on their tray (e.g., compostables on the right, garbage on the left) before they get up from their table helps the sorting line move quicker.
  • Provide signs with pictures at each receptacle showing what goes where. Monitor what is going into each container and adjust signage as needed.
  • Examples of commercially compostable items: all food scraps (fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy bread); napkins; paperboard food boats; sometimes compostable tableware (forks, trays, cups, etc).
  • Examples of items not commercially compostable: Polystyrene (Styrofoam) bowls, cups, plates, trays, etc; plastic (forks, cups, straws, string cheese wrappers, condiment packets); chip bags; juice pouches; juice boxes; aluminum cans.

Biodegradable or Compostable Items: Items that are labeled as biodegradable or compostable are not necessarily accepted at commercial composting facilities. Be sure to check with the company hauling your compostables before purchasing new items you intend to separate for composting.