Cafeteria Compost to Campus Landscaping

Will Rogers, who lived through the great dust bowl once said: “They’re making more people every day—but they ain’t making any more dirt.”


Food waste from the cafeterias and coffee shops at Sprint and Hallmark’s headquarters is composted. Special bins and biodegradable liners are used by staff to collect the food waste. The diverted landfill waste in these containers is picked up three times per week and taken to a local composting farm run by KC-BPS member, Missouri Organic. This all takes place behind the scenes; nothing has changed for either Sprint or Hallmark employees other than the satisfaction of knowing cafeteria food waste is being repurposed. Discard is collected from prep areas, dirty plates and perishable unsold items. Paper napkins go in the food-waste collection along with paper cups. Even organic landscape waste from the campus and wooden loading-dock pallets are composted. Sprint and Hallmark then close the loop by purchasing the resulting compost from Missouri Organics for use in campus landscaping.

Why is composting important?

Chef at Sprint Headquarters separating food.

Once soil is disturbed, we may not be able to restore it to its native state, but we can help build a new balance of beneficial soil organisms to support the desired vegetative life. While it takes thousands of years for the earth’s forces to build good soil, we can help do this in 5 – 10 years by adding compost—which adds microorganisms, arthropods, worms, and humus to the soil. The word “compost” comes from Latin where it meant “to put together.” This is what we do when we compost—we put together the correct amounts of compostable materials to make a great soil amendment. Why is this important in our region? Composting provides a way not only of reducing the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of, but also of converting it into a product that is useful for gardening, landscaping, or house plants.

Synergy Metrics

Finished product at Missouri Organic

Hallmark Composting (2006-2011): 900 tons

Sprint Composting (2008-2011): 196 tons

Synergy Partners

Sprint, Hallmark Cards, Inc, Missouri Organic Recycling