Skip to content


What is the Composting Program?

Composting assumes a pivotal role in UC Merced's steadfast commitment to attain zero-waste status. This eco-conscious practice serves a dual purpose, not only mitigating waste generation but also leveraging the inherent value of our compostable resources for a wide spectrum of endeavors. These encompass soil enrichment initiatives and serve as a foundation for academic and research endeavors. The presence of this composting initiative within our campus framework affords us ready access to these multifaceted opportunities, effectively streamlining and fortifying the composting procedure.

Key Benefits

This program will provide our campus with a wide array of resources ranging from educational to practical uses. The main benefits of this program are explored below:


  • Achieving Zero Waste
    • By composting on site UC Merced gets closer to our goals on not throwing any trash away by finding ways to repurpose it as compost instead.
  • Creating Our Own Compost
    • The compost produced from this project will eliminate the need to purchase compost from other manufacturers -- a step in the right direction for making UC Merced more self-sustainable.
  • Recycling on Campus
    • Our in-house compost can be used to enrich our own campus soil for growing plants and vegetation, especially for campus smartfarm and orchard!
  • Learning and Research
    • The process of composting is an interesting area of research. So, by composting on our campus, we can engage our faculty and students to study and experiment with our compost to figure out how to make the soil even richer.
  • Educational Opportunity
    • This on-campus composting program provides students with an avenue to learn more and do research about waste and composting. Additionally, it provides our students with a wonderful opportunity to experience and discover new ways to help support the environment.


While it is worth acknowledging that this program may bring forth various other benefits for our campus, the ones detailed herein are considered the most essential and pertinent.

Composting Programs First Steps

Our composting program begins by giving life back to nature! We're kicking it off by composting leaves and grass clippings sourced from the lush landscapes of our campus grounds and the thriving community garden. To make this all happen, we've got a passionate team of students taking the lead, working in close collaboration with staff and the visionary minds of the Experimental Farm and the UC Merced Department of Sustainability, ensuring every composting step is a giant leap toward a greener future.

Proposed Site

Outlined below is the proposed site for our composting program, situated adjacent to the Orchard off Cottonwood Loop on the northeastern side of campus. This location is strategically positioned in close proximity to both the Recycling Center and the Orchard, that will serve as the central hub for composting activities on campus.

Here, an aerial perspective of the aforementioned designated area for the composting program is provided. It is noteworthy for its convenient adjacency to the Recycling Center, facilitating the efficient collection and organization of compostable materials as required.

Conceptual Design

Presented below is a conceptual blueprint for the composting program, delineating the method by which various compost materials would be structured and arranged within the designated area. This design provides overarching directives for the construction of specific structures and offers insights into their practical realization.