UF Housing is composting paper towels!

Beginning in October 2017 Building Services Staff members started collecting paper towels from the Jennings West 1st-floor public areas and Beaty Commons Residence Halls.

Did you know that 1 ton of paper towels uses 17 trees and 20,000 gallons of water? UF uses an estimated 250 tons of paper towels per year that equals 4250 trees and 5 million gallons of water! As part of the University’s commitment to diverting wastes from landfills, UF combines the towels with food waste, and it breaks down to compost. In a landfill, the paper towels break down very slowly, potentially releasing methane during decomposition (methane is 25 times more harmful greenhouse gas than CO2). Paper towels put in the designated bin are mixed with UF food waste and taken to a commercial compost facility where the materials convert into a valuable soil amendment that can improve the health and appearance of landscaping, plus assist in water retention and reduce fertilizer needs.

Please put ONLY brown paper towels in the labeled Paper Towel bin.  If the containers get contaminated with other trash, all of it could be dumped in the landfill.

To ensure success, we need your help.

When you see labels for “Paper Towels Only,” PLEASE do not put anything other than brown paper towels in the containers. Contamination can ruin a whole load of compost. Use trash cans for anything that is not a brown paper towel. With your support, we can help prevent the 50,000 pounds of paper towels generated by UF each year from going to the landfill.

Please go to https://www.ppd.ufl.edu/departments/ref_papertowels.shtml orhttps://www.ppd.ufl.edu/departments/refuse.shtml for direct information.

Contact Marie Steinwachs msteinwachs@UFL.EDU, Facilities Services Waste Diversion Manager with any questions or concerns.