Brown Paper Towel Program

The brown paper towels found in most restrooms across campus are compostable paper products. A 2018 study of UK’s waste found that about 15% of all landfill waste was composed of compostable paper products. 

In an effort to increase waste diversion, a brown paper towel composting program was piloted at the W.T. Young library in 2019. This program has since evolved into a multi-building initiative led by UK Recycling’s Sustainability Intern, Shaun Lavin. 

The program now serves the Taylor Education Building, Dickey Hall, and Peterson Service Building with the goal of expanding to 10 buildings by the end of 2023. In January 2023 during the first month of this program, over 145 lbs of brown paper towels were collected and diverted from the landfill.




In an effort to combat contamination, UK Recycling asks that, within these buildings, all non-compostable paper products be taken to a dedicated recycling or landfill container outside of the restroom. 

Compostable paper collected for this program is transported by UK Recycling to CAFE’s C. Oran Little Research Center in Woodford County to be included with the food and other organic waste already collected throughout campus.





Stay up to date with UK Recycling!