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Cornell University

Composting & Recycling


Cornell Dining began sending food scraps for composting in 1998. Last year, Cornell Dining composted about 700 tons of food scraps and organic waste from our dining rooms and our retail dining eateries.

Our chefs and food preparers compost in all our kitchen facilities (pre-consumer composting), and our customers can compost their waste (post-consumer composting) at Martha's Café, Mattins Café, Risley DiningBig Red Barn, Bus Stop Bagels, and Café Jennie.

Farm Services collects the organic waste from Cornell Dining and composts it at Cornell's Industrial Compost Facility. The end product is used for campus landscaping, university experimental farms, and sold to local landscape companies.

Learn about Cornell's Farm Service Compost Facility


Items that are not compostable are often recyclable, including all packaging for our York Street Grab-n-Go products. Customers may recycle glass bottles, plastics #1, #2, and #5, aluminum and metal cans, mixed paper, and newspapers in all Cornell Dining eateries. Recycling must be clean with no visible food residue. Use a napkin to wipe clean, then compost the napkin.

At this time, Tompkins County does not have the ability to recycle or compost cutlery, so please toss into the landfill container and remember to bring your own reusable utensils.

All fryer oil is collected by Baker Commodities Inc. to be recycled.