When students come back to campus in January 2010, those dining in the Donahue Cafe will have the opportunity to reduce their environmental impact by composting their food waste.

About the Pilot Program

The Suffolk University Sustainability Committee has worked with Sodexo to purchase biodegradable cutlery and straws so that just about everything diners have left at the end of their meal can be recycled. A recycling receptacle has been purchased and is available in the Donahue Cafe specifically for this program. Student volunteers will be on hand to raise awareness about how to participate in this new program. The organics will be stored in air-tight containers and picked up on a regularly scheduled basis by our recycling vendor Save that Stuff and brought to an area farm to be turned into compost and sold.

Along with composting their food waste, diners are encouraged to take only what they will use, in terms of food and napkins.

Composting and trash output will be measured and the program will be evaluated to determine next steps.

Special thanks to ABM Janitorial Services and Sodexo staff for their contributions to this initiative.


In 2007 Suffolk University started a pilot program for recycling food waste in one of its cafe kitchens. The program expanded in 2009, with all major kitchens now participating. Prompted by suggestions from staff and students, the Suffolk University Sustainability Committee has been seeking to expand organics recycling to cafe diners.

Why Compost?

Because food waste does not easily break down in landfills but does release methane, it is preferable to compost food waste. Click here to read more about the environmental benefits of composting. It is also significantly less expensive for the University to recycle food waste than to throw it away.

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed for 2-3 hour shifts between January 19 and February 19 to raise awareness about the composting program. Contact recycle@suffolk.edu to sign up.