Dining Services

During the academic year, the Medford campus composts a little over one ton of food waste each day. Our annual total is over 200 tons.


Tufts University Dining Services Composting Statistics
Fiscal Year Food (in tons)
2005 156
2006 170
2007 182
2008 211
2009 221
2010 245
2011 235
2012 290
2013 325

Through composting, Tufts Dining Services has reduced its yearly trash output by over 200 tons! Employees in Carmichael Dining Hall, Dewick-MacPhie Dining Hall, Hotung Cafe, the Campus Center, the Tufts  Catering department and the university’s Central Production Facility place food scraps and organic materials into composting bins.

Food waste from Tufts is picked up from two haulers: Save That Stuff, Inc. and Herb’s Disposal. Save That Stuff collects from Carmichael Dining Hall while Herb’s Disposal picks up material from Dewick-MacPhie. Our food waste is combined with leaves and other organic materials to generate nutrient-rich compost for farmers and landscapers.

Keeping organic materials out of Massachusetts’ already crowded landfills not only saves landfill space but also cuts the generation of methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas created from organic materials’ anaerobic decomposition.

Useful Links:

For more information about composting, the world’s oldest recycling system, please visit www.vegweb.com/composting.

To learn more about composting at Tufts, please review a film by Joseph Cutrufo, presented in partnership with Tufts Recycles!, Tufts University Facilities Department, and The Office of Sustainability. Featuring Jeanne Eisenhaure, George Ellmore, John Fisher, Dawn Quirk, and Dallase Scott. Music by Hot Protestants.

Read blog posts about Tufts Dining!


Tufts Dining employees separate food scraps during meal preparation.

The food that Tufts students leave on their trays is emptied into the “river” by dish room staff.

Food scraps are then “pulped” to extract water. The finished scraps look similar to hummus.