Composting is now available at UI Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC).
The program is part of a University of Iowa initiative led
by the UI Office of Sustainability across campus.
Composting containers have been placed at the exits of Food
and Nutrition Services (FNS) cafeterias (Fountain Dining
Room, Compass Café, Marketplace, Melrose, 6OR Cafeteria,
Atrium Dining Room).
All employees of UIHC are encouraged to participate in the
new composting program. Below are answers to some common
What is composting?
a natural process that turns organic materials into a dark,
rich substance. This substance, called compost or humus, is
a wonderful conditioner for soil.
UIHC Food and Nutrition Services organic materials become
In an effort
to reduce waste and produce quality compost for the
community, the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center has a
commercial composting facility for yard waste and other
the benefits of composting?
the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center, composting can
significantly reduce the amount of organic material ending
up in landfills. In a landfill, organic materials break
down over about 30 years and produce landfill gas, which is
about 49% methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is
about 21 times more harmful to the environment than carbon
dioxide. While the Iowa City Landfill captures and flares
the landfill gas, it is environmentally preferable to avoid
the production of land fill gas. For the past several
years, the Iowa City landfill and Recycling Center has sold
out of compost. Diverting more organics for processing into
compost would help meet the community’s growing demand for
Was it necessary to buy special disposable takeout
containers in order to compost?
Yes, all Styrofoam and plastic disposable products
throughout FNS have been replaced with certified
biodegradable disposable products (ASTM D6400 and ASTM D6868
Where can I put my food and disposables to ensure they are
There are composting containers located at the exit of all
of FNS cafeterias including Fountain Dining Room, Compass
Café, Marketplace, Melrose, 6OR Dining Room, IStop, and
Can I throw away my food and disposables anywhere beyond the
No, the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center can only
accept compostable items that are 100% organic;
no contamination is allowed or the load is treated and
charged as trash. Materials must arrive unbagged, in paper
bags or in pre-approved biodegradable, compostable bags that
meet ASTMD6400 certification.
there anything we as customers can do to help with the
Yes, bring your disposable takeout containers back to the
cafeterias to dispose of them in the compost containers.
Bring your own cup to ice/water dispensers throughout the
hospital complex. Don’t choose a disposable takeout product
unless you are actually taking it out. Be open to
changes—we are all working together to be more sustainable!