Colleges can saves money with compost. At least that’s the goal. Mercer County Community College, in West Windsor, New Jersey, believes that it can save money in trash disposal costs by composting organic waste. According to an article by Meir Rinde in the Trenton Times :

With help from the Mercer County Improvement Authority, the school plans to start a pilot program to separate banana peels, coffee grounds and other organic materials from the rest of the trash, track the amount collected, and send the stuff to a recycler.

The college currently pays $125 per ton for trash hauling, while food-waste disposal costs just $65 per ton.

“The cost is almost half of what we’re paying now per ton, so the more we can generate in food waste, the better it’s going to be for us,” [MCCC Director of Facilities Michael] Dill said.

MCCC is a little late getting on the compost and recycling bandwagon. Many, many American colleges already have composing waste disposal plans. In most cases composing campus waste is a primarily ecological, rather than cost-saving, decision. Indeed, institutional composting often turns out to be more expensive than conventional waste disposal.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer