Paper Towel Composting

Paper towels from bathrooms can be collected for composting, instead of trash. The first location to pilot this change is the Fretwell Building, starting in January 2024.


Studies of UNC Charlotte buildings show that paper towels and compostable paper make up about 20% of the waste collected. This is the largest single item that we can keep out of the landfill – with your help


New collection bins (see right) in restrooms will help you separate trash from the paper towels. Staff will add the paper towels to the food waste being collected from the coffee shop in Fretwell. Earth Farms Organics, a commercial composting facility, will make this material safe for return to the soil and possible use on campus landscapes. Learn more about composting at UNC Charlotte here.


The pilot program is supported by Facilities Management Building Environmental Services & Recycling and the Office of Sustainability. Their staff will measure  the volume of paper towels  collected and note any contamination (with trash). This data will help plan the expansion to other campus buildings. For more information on this program, contact Shannon Caveny-Cox at

Students, via a grant from the Charlotte Green Initiative (CGI) provided funding to purchase the collection bins for this pilot program.

Read the Feb. 8th Niner Times article about the project: New recycling compost program launched in Fretwell to reduce paper waste