University Sustainability

Defining Sustainability since 1899


Appalachian State University has been composting on campus since 1999 and has a lasting commitment to organics recycling. The facility is permitted in the state of NC as a Type III compost facility, which has the ability to accept yard/garden waste, wood waste, pre- and post-consumer food wastes including meats and dairy, as well as some manure and agricultural waste. This program began as a grassroots approach to food waste collection, and with the help of a local partner, Advanced Composting Technologies from Candler, NC, has developed into one of the most successful programs in the country.

In addition to the ability to process waste right here on campus through a closed loop system, this program has many added benefits with regard to research opportunities, internship potential, and a demonstration for other communities.


2018: Expansion to collection at all residence halls and several other academic buildings

2018: Mixer/grinder and new collection truck purchased to better process post-consumer and compostable food service ware and create more efficiency within the program

2017: Compost program pilot developed at one academic building and three residence halls

2016: Compost Screener purchased to develop high quality finished product

2015: Composting expanded into entire fieldhouse during home football games

2014: Composting begins at Kidd Brewer Stadium during home football games

2012: Compost curing site developed

2011: New facility opened and post-consumer compost collection expansion begins at major events and events held in the Student Union- this facility broaden the scope of research and educational opportunities for students and the local community

2010: Collaboration with local company, Advanced Composting Technologies- Candler, NC to design new state-of-the-art forced aerated facility- historically Advanced Composting Technologies had been constructing facilities for the purpose of animal mortality composting only, so Appalachian and Advanced Composting partnered to showcase their very first food waste composting facility

2001-2009: Facility maintained by the Waste Reduction and Recycling Office of the Physical Plant and collections expanded to include pre consumer waste stream from all dining facilities

2000: Collection expansion and low tech aerated facility developed and officially permitted through the state of NC

1999-2000: Compost Program began as a student led initiative by Sustainable Development and Appropriate Technology students- pilot began with coffee grounds, lemons, and lettuce

Facilities Operations - Composting and Sustainable Practices