Recycling and Composting


Our Cal Poly recycling stream is "co-mingled," meaning all locally recyclable materials - cardboard and paper as well as plastic narrow-necked bottles, glass bottles & metal containers - can be mixed together in bins labeled "recycling". The collected recyclable materials are sent to the Cold Canyon Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in San Luis Obispo County for sorting & baling. For a comprehensive list of what is recyclable at Cal Poly and throughout SLO County, visit the Integrated Waste Management Authority (IWMA) website or jump to What Goes Where?


Campus Dining and Facilities Management and Development partner with San Luis Garbage to have our pre-consumer (Dining back-of-house) food scraps composted. The materials are collected in green carts and taken to the local Hitachi-Zozen Anaerobic Digester to produce clean energy and compost for local farms. About 230 tons of food scraps from Campus Dining are composted annually. Unfortunately, no local compost facilities accept compostable items (napkins, paper plates, compostable cups and serveware). At this time, no post-consumer compost is collected on campus because of extremely high contamination rates.

Animal Manure & Green Waste Composting

On an annual basis, CAFES animal operations produce approximately seven million pounds of manure. Cal Poly Agriculture Operations performs onsite composting of the manure, along with approximately 2,500 cubic yards of green waste generated from campus landscaping maintenance. The resulting 3,500 cubic yards of finished compost is used on the student-run Organic Farm, campus landscaping, and Cal Poly crops for soil amendment, reducing the need for chemical fertilizer. To find out more about Cal Poly Compost or place an order, call Ag Operations at 805-756-2548.

Franchise Agreement

In compliance with AB 2048, we have made available the current franchise agreement between our contracted solid waste and recycling haulers and Cal Poly.