Student News

UK Recycling continues food waste program at University Flats

Food waste containers at University Flats
Food waste container at University Flats.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 29, 2022) — After the success in past school years, University of Kentucky Recycling is continuing the residence hall food waste program at University Flats under the leadership of Recycling Program Support intern Shaun Lavin. In collaboration with the Student Government Association (SGA), UK Dining, UK Housing, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment (CAFE) and UK Residence Life, this program provides students the opportunity to take personal responsibility for the food waste they create in the kitchen.

This year, 60 students are participating in the program by collecting their compostable food waste in a green tabletop container, known as a Grubby. Compostable waste includes things like dead plants, fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds and tea bags, bread and eggshells. Once full, the students then take their Grubby to the large food waste compactor in the compactor room, located on the first floor of University Flats.

Each week, UK Recycling collects food waste from both residential dining facilities and organic waste from UK Grounds and transports it to UK CAFE's farm in Woodford County and/or the LFUCG Composting Facility. There, it is processed into compost. The finished compost is used as a soil amendment, and some of it is transported back to campus to be used by UK Grounds.

To join the program’s 60 participants, a Grubby will be available upon request at University Flats starting again in the spring semester. To learn more about what UK is doing with the food waste from University Flats and residential dining facilities, watch UK Recycling's video on YouTube.

Stay up to date on UK Recycling’s activities and changes on campus by following @ukyrecycles on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

To learn more about the Food Waste Program, visit UK Recycling’s website or email

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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