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Sustainability & Recycling - Compost

Composting is nature’s way of recycling.  Composting is controlled biological reduction of organic wastes to humus.  The end product, compost, is used as a soil amendment that provides plant nutrients, supports beneficial soil life, reduces soil diseases, increases water retention in sandy soil and adds drainage to clay soils, and promotes weed and erosion control.

MUSC has partnered with College of Charleston, The Citadel and Trident Technical College in a multi-agency contract with Food Waste Disposal, LLC in an effort to divert cafeteria pre-consumer waste from the landfill to the Bee's Ferry Compost facility. MUSC has been composting yard waste for several years and is composting in the Urban Farm as well.

At the MUSC Urban Farm there are three types of composting: click here for a description of each type.


 • Cardboard rolls, Clean paper
• Coffee grounds and filters, tea bags
• Eggshells
• Fruits and vegetables, boiled peanut shells
• Hair and fur, fireplace ashes (min)
• Sawdust (untreated wood)Wood chips (untreated)
• Shredded newspaper
• Wool rags, Cotton rags
• Yard trimmings, houseplants/dead flowers, leaves, hay and straw, grass clippings

red slash

Not Compostable


oils, meat, bones, dairy products
cat, dog, or human waste
hazardous materials
plastic, glass, metal, treated wood, coal or charcoal ashes
yard waste that was previously treated with chemicals

weeds, diseased plants

The EPA recommends two basic methods; click here for the handout or visit their site

VermicompostingVermicomposting uses red wiggler (eisensia foetida) worms to do the work of composting.  The worms eat the organics and leave behind castings. These systems come in a variety of sizes.  "Uncle Jim's Worms" is a good source online to purchase live worms for vermicomposting

You can have a 10-gallon container that might handle a small department’s or household's food waste. If you would like to build your own worm bin, here are step by step instructions and sources for worms: Working with the worms


MUSC's Worm Facility at 17 Ehrhardt St














The worm facility uses red wiggler worms (Eisenia fetida) to convert food scraps from the cafeteria and yard waste from grounds into a potent fertilizer that is used on the urban farm. 


Outdoor Compost Corral - These large enclosures were used by Grounds for campus yard waste

Back Yard

 Composting Container in Therapy Garden at Institute of Psychiatry - for branches and leaves in small garden

Additional resources:

MUSC Urban Farm

Institutional Composting, a Step by Step guide
How to Win at Composting, a Power Point presentation

For more information on composting and the Sustainability Program at MUSC call 843-792-4066 or email


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