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Composting in Denver Public Schools


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About 25% of all DPS schools have lunchroom composting programs.  Participating schools collect their food scraps and compostable paper, such as napkins and food trays, which are then transported by Denver Solid Waste Management to a local composting facility where they are transformed into a beneficial soil amendment called compost. The compost produced is used in local agriculture and landscaping projects to create healthy soil. By composting, not only is food waste being reused, it is also prevented from taking up space at the landfill and creating harmful greenhouse gases as it decomposes. By participating in the program, students and staff are empowered to help protect nature and reduce their lunchroom waste drastically.

If your school has a strong recycling program and would like to start composting in the lunchroom, then review the introductory information and contact Denver Recycles.  

Planning and Technical Support

Denver Recycles staff will guide your school through the planning process each step of the way to ensure your compost program is a success. Take a moment to review our DPS Composts! Agreement Form and DPS Composts! Program Setup Checklist.


Compost Carts & Weekly Collection 

Participating schools receive free green compost carts and weekly collection.  DPS will cover the cost of this compost service and in some cases, will provide free compostable cart liners to new participating schools. 


Complimentary Posters & Assemblies 

Large posters in the lunchroom will guide your students in sorting their lunchroom leftovers.  Staff training and an all school assembly presentation provided by Denver Recycles, are required for participation in the program.  Additional training for kitchen staff, adult or student compost monitors, and parent volunteers is also offered. 


School Compost Champions

Schools in DPS are getting creative in how they manage their compost programs.  From student compost monitors and parent Green Teams, to composting paper towels from the classrooms and bathrooms, schools are getting things done for the planet! Contact Denver Recycles to learn more about these schools and share your own ideas. 


Quick Links

Is Your School Not Composting Yet?

Change starts with a question! Contact your school’s leadership and ask if a composting program is a good fit. If yes, give us a call and we can help start the process.

Contact Brad Paterson at 303-446-3407 for any questions or assistance.