Sustainability at Reed


Portland mandates the composting of food waste. Whether you can compost – and what goes in the compost bin – varies depending on where you live or work. There are many ways to compost food waste—both on and off campus. We invite you to contact the Sustainability Committee if you have any questions about composting on campus.  

Composting On Campus

Here is a map of compost locations on campus. Large compost bins are located at Reed’s dumpster sites on campus (east parking lot, Anna Mann, Sullivan, Commons), in the library lobby, and outside of Vollum lecture hall. Small compost collection bins are available from Greenboard free of charge for students to use in their residence halls or on-campus house or apartment. Students are responsible for maintaining these smaller bins, and the person who acquired the bin is the contact person in charge of bin return at the end of the year.

Reed composting on campus includes residence halls, Reed owned apartments/houses, and campus buildings.

The Sustainability Committee has made guidelines for composting at Reed.

Rules of Composting in Reed’s Bins

These items cannot be composted at Reed:

  • Containers or silverware that are labeled compostable
  • Paper drinking cups or any other paper products (no paper towels, wooden stir sticks, etc.)

These items can be composted at Reed:

  • All food scraps, including vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, baked or unbaked items, coffee grounds and filters, and tea bags
  • All food left on dishware put in the Commons dish return, as long as there is no trash mixed into the food

How to get a small compost bin on campus

  • Fill out the bin request form 
  • Read all instructions on Compost Bin sheet
  • Pick up a bin, bags, and instructions/accepted food waste poster from the GCC Sustainability Office/Infoshoppe during Sustainability Coordinator office hours or anytime using your Reed ID.
  • Place bin in your location and put poster up near bin.
  • Point person(s) must empty the small bin into a large compost bin on campus or find others to empty it ONCE A WEEK.
  • Communicate to others who use it (dormies, officemates) what goes in it, how to use it, and what will happen to the bin during school breaks.
  • Return the bin to the Sustainability Office/Infoshoppe at the end of each academic year if it will not be cared for over summer.

Composting in Residences Off-Campus 

Reference the City of Portland's compost guidelines for composting in off-campus residences.