Organics & Food Waste Diversion Program

UK Recycling is partnering with several departments to separate and divert organic material away from the landfill, sending them to facilities in Central Kentucky that will compost the material.


Organic Waste


Organic waste  (leaves, plants, weeds, branches, twigs, tree trunks and other yard waste) are collected by UK Grounds and placed in green containers around campus.



To reduce plastic waste on campus, UK Grounds staff collect leaves and plant material using Leaf Burritos—reusable durable mesh bags with heavy-duty zippers and handles that transport the material to the nearest green organics container.

Large piles of leaves are also collected with leaf vacuum trucks.

All this organic material is delivered to the City of Lexington’s Composting Facility and/or the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s C. Oran Little Research Center in Woodford County, for composting.  The end product can be then used for soil amendments at the farms and back on campus.


Food Waste


Starting in June 2019, the University began capturing food waste from Champion’s kitchen at the Gatton Student Center. Food waste, food scraps and napkins left on plates, is pulped and captured in green organics containers.


Food waste captured in the green food waste containers is then collected by UK Recycling on a daily basis and then transported to UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and the Environment’s Little Research Fam in Woodford County.


Food waste delivered to the farm is incorporated with leaves, animal bedding and other bulking agents to begin the composting process.


Finish material, compost, will be used as soil amendment on the farm and on campus.


Have questions about our program or interested in getting involved? Contact our office!