Compost Paper Towels to Divert Waste from Landfills

Composting Paper Towels

We partnered with Kimberly-Clark Professional*, a preferred supplier for HP Products, to present the content in today’s blog post.

Facilities around the United States have been implementing sustainable building maintenance programs for years. In fact, the U.S. has more communities moving to “Zero Waste” than all of Europe!

Part of the Zero Waste concept is promoting waste prevention, or diverting waste from landfills. Composting, the collection of organic materials, is a form of landfill diversion. Organic materials, such as paper, are the largest component of trash in landfills.

Towel and tissue manufacturer, Kimberly-Clark Professional, is helping facilities buy responsibly with green certified paper products that benefit the planet and help you meet your green building goals.

Why Should My Facility Compost?

Composting is part of a sustainable building maintenance program. Buildings are one of the heaviest consumers of natural resources, and in the U.S., account for 38% of all CO2 emissions.

By practicing waste reduction, you can help to protect Mother Earth by decreasing green house gas (GHG) emissions, conserving resources and saving energy, along with a slew of other hidden business benefits. Not only are you reducing waste, you’re gaining credits. Composting paper towels can lead to more LEED and AASHE STARS credits:

  • Total LEED Credits with composting = 4 (vs. 2 without composting)
  • Total STARS Credits with composting = 13 (vs. 5 without composting)

All Kimberly-Clark Professional towels are compostable, and customers have already been taking advantage of that as they look to divert waste in the washroom.

Composting for Landfill Diversion Case Study: University of Alberta

In 2012, the fourth floor of the General Services Building at the University of Alberta rolled out its own office-based post-consumer composting program. To further divert organics for composting, they piloted a specific washroom paper towel collection program. While paper towel waste is acceptable in all organics collections bins, this has been a first for collecting washroom paper towel waste for composting. The towels are SCOTT® Brand 1000’ high-capacity roll towels. The highly absorbent towels contain 60 percent recycled content and 40 percent post consumer waste.

“On our floor alone, which has about 117 employees, we fill two 65 gallon bins a week with organic waste. At least 50 percent of that waste is paper towels,” said Kwasny. The hand towels also have turned out to be a valuable addition to the compost itself because they absorb wetness, supply carbon and act as a bulking agent.

– Jesse Kwasny, Waste Diversion and Recycling Coordinator, University of Alberta

The University of Alberta Waste Diversion Chart

The University of Alberta waste diversion chart

Ready to Throw in the Towel?

Are you ready to start composting? Together, HP Products and Kimberly-Clark Professional are continuously looking for new ways to help end-users meet their sustainability and zero waste goals. How can we help you? Let us know.

Kimberly-Clark Professional Throw in the Towel


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Courtney Petesch

Courtney Petesch is the Marketing Specialist for HP Products, a distributor of 50,000 facility maintenance products throughout the Midwest. Courtney has over 5 years of experience managing e-commerce product content and merchandising, overseeing social media initiatives, executing email marketing campaigns and evaluating analytics.