Food waste composting at CCU started in 2015 as a partnership between Sustain Coastal, Aramark Dining Services (CCU Food Crew), and SMART Recycling. Since then, CCU launched its own compost collection program in July 2023, as a collaborative effort between Sustain Coastal and Grounds. To date, the program has been a success – providing real time information about the amount of food waste being generated, and creating the infrastructure needed to expand composting programs across campus.

Food waste from campus is transported to the Horry County Solid Waste Authority's compost facility off Highway 90 in Conway. The food waste is turned into compost for members of the community to purchase as a soil enrichment product. Since the program started in 2015, over one million pounds of food waste has been composted.

Get Involved

Reserve your community garden space and/or personal compost bin!

 

 

Location

3803 Elvington Loop on CCU's main campus (near University Housing across from DeCenzo Hall). Click here for the full campus map and key. 

Hours of Operation

Monday - Thursday 

7 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Friday 

7 a.m. - 11 a.m.

 

It's as easy as 1-2-3! 

  1. Grab a personal compost bin - you can use any container with a lid! Sustain Coastal offers free personal compost bins upon request.
    • Students can sign-up for a personal compost bin here.
    • Faculty and staff can sign up for a personal compost bin here
  2. Separate food scraps and food waste from your regular trash (see below for list of accepted items). 
      • Fruits and vegetables
      • Coffee grounds
      • Bread, bakery items, pasta and grain
      • Cooked meats and fish, bones, and shells
      • Food-soiled paper (coffee filters, paper bags, paper towels, napkins, waxed cardboard paper)
      • Processed foods (pizza, cereal, chips, crackers, cookies, cakes, plate scrapings)
      • Compostable food waste bags (provided on site)
  3. Empty your container at least once per week at the Food Waste Drop-Off, located at 3803 Elvington Loop. Be sure to grab a complimentary compostable bag liner to keep your container clean!

Accepted Items

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Coffee grounds
  • Bread, bakery items, pasta and grain
  • Cooked meats and fish, bones, and shells
  • Food-soiled paper (coffee filters, paper bags, paper towels, napkins, waxed cardboard paper)
  • Processed foods (pizza, cereal, chips, crackers, cookies, cakes, plate scrapings)
  • Compostable food waste bags (provided on site)

Not Accepted

  • Raw meat and fish
  • Plastic items (bags, dishes, utensils, cups, styrofoam)
  • Small items (rubber bangs, twist ties)
  • Chemical cleaners
  • Non-food items (wood, metal, glass, ceramics, pet droppings, yard debris)
  • Fats, oils, or grease

 

Waste diversion is foundational to sustainability at CCU, and is a core program of Sustain Coastal. Additionally, the Horry County landfill is expected to reach capacity within the next 30 years and 40% of waste in SC landfills is food waste. By keeping food out of our landfill, we can reduce our environmental impact and extend the life of our landfill in Horry County. 

In line with S.C. DHEC’s and also the U.S. EPA’s recycling and waste reduction goals, CCU has identified a goal of diverting 50% of waste generated on campus by 2030.  Each day, Sustain Coastal staff collect recycling from over 323 indoor recycling stations located within 42 of the academic, administrative and athletic buildings across campus, and Grounds staff collect back of house composting from all of the on-campus dining facilities and compost from the Food Waste Drop-Off site. Compostable material is transported to the Horry County Solid Waste Authority's compost facility off Highway 90 in Conway. 

In the past year alone CCU composted 254,000 pounds of food waste from the dining halls, that would have otherwise gone to the landfill.

Collecting food waste and food scraps is easy! You may choose to use any container with a lid however, Sustain Coastal offers free personal compost bins upon request.

  • Students can sign up for a personal compost bin here
  • Faculty and staff can sign up for a personal compost bin here

These personal compost bins hook onto existing teal recycling bins that are also offered for free. To keep your personal compost bin clean, be sure to utilize the complimentary compostable bag liners available at the Food Waste Drop-Off (3803 Elvington Loop).

To receive a free teal recycling bin, students can stop by the Chant 411 desk anytime the Student Union is open. Faculty and staff can email sustain@coastal.edu for a free Office Mini-bin recycling system. For more information about the Office Mini-bin Program, click here

CCU also composts food waste generated during special Zero Waste events on campus, such as football games, the annual Holiday Park Lighting and Market, and more. 

  • 2015-2016: 95.19 tons
  • 2016-2017: 61.81 tons
  • 2017-2018: 102.54 tons
  • 2018-2019: 83.85 tons
  • 2019-2020: 58.20 tons 
  • 2020-2021: 40.97 tons
  • 2021-2022: 77.17 tons
  • 2022-2023: Coming Soon!       

The notion of farm to table eating has been around for quite a while, but Coastal Carolina University takes the effort one step farther. Dining halls at the University attempt to source food from as close to CCU as possible, with a network of farms across the Carolinas that supply produce and more. 

To learn more about CCU Food Crew's Sustainability Initiatives, click here


The TD Campus and Community Sustainability Initiative, also known as Sustain Coastal, is the department responsible for coordinating efforts around food waste composting on campus. Sustain Coastal is committed to transforming CCU into an environmentally sustainable university through campus operations, student curriculum, engaging students through learning and outreach, and collaboration in the community through sustainable stewardship of resources. Learn more here.

 

In a joint effort between Sustain Coastal and Grounds, CCU also launched its own compost collection program in July 2023.  To date, the program has been a success – providing real time information about the amount of food waste being generated, and also creating the infrastructure needed to expand its composting programs throughout campus. Learn more here.

 

CCU Food Crew, or Aramark, is an essential partner to ensuring sustainable dining practices. Through a collaborative effort, we are able to provide farm to table options at campus dining locations, offer food waste composting, reduce single-use plastics, and increase our Zero Waste efforts at sporting and other events on campus. Learn more here.

 

The composting collection program is made possible by infrastructure provided in Horry County, through the Horry County Solid Waste Authority. Food waste that gets generated on CCU's campus is transported to the Horry County Solid Waste Authority's compost facility off Highway 90 in Conway, where the food waste is turned into compost for members of the community to purchase as a soil enrichment product. Learn more here. 

 

 

Don't Waste Food S.C. is a collaborative effort through SC DHEC to bring partners together from across the public and private sector to reduce food waste in SC. The campaign is designed to increase awareness of the economic, environmental and social impacts of food waste and empower individuals, businesses, and communities to take action. Learn more here. 

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