Santa Clara University

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Waste Diversion

In 2012, SCU disposed of 1,836 tons of waste, which includes 904 tons of landfill waste, 392 tons of recyclables, and 541 tons of compostable material. 

Containers, labels, and instructional signs have been replaced throughout campus to standardize the University's waste diversion system. Colors on signs and container labels: Recycling = Blue; Landfill waste = Red/Black; Compost = Green.  

New initiatives include food waste composting and changes in our office desk-side recycling and waste processes. See Recycling & Waste on the Facilities website for more information.

  • external recycling binFrequently Asked Questions

    Do you have questions about recycling, composting, or waste at SCU? We've got answers. Visit our Recycling, Composting and Waste Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. Also, for those questions that need immediate answers, text your questions to 51FAQWASTE and the Office of Sustainability will respond right away.
  • plasticRecyclable Items

    SCU recycles plastic, glass, metal (including tin cans), aluminum cans, mixed paper (including shoe boxes, magazines, and junk mail), white/colored paper, and corrugated cardboard.
  • desksidebinWaste Diversion Systems

    Learn more about recycling and composting systems in campus offices, residence halls, large campus events, and more.

Special Events

  • wastecharWaste Characterization

    Waste Characterizations help SCU determine what we're throwing away. By knowing what the University is sending to the landfill to, it's possible to see where we need to improve or expand waste reduction, recycling, and composting programs. These characterizations will allow us to develop useful and interesting data on the waste stream that will allow us reduce landfill waste from the campus.
  • recyclemaniaRecycleMania

    SCU participated in RecycleMania 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012.

Waste Reduction

  • Swap for GoodSwap for Good

    Since 2011, the Office of Sustainability and Santa Clara Community Action Program (SCCAP) have hosted this clothing exchange for students, staff, and faculty of SCU. Items are swapped among the campus community and also with partnering community organizations, such as the women and children of the local Home Safe shelters in Santa Clara and San Jose. The Swap for Good occurs in Spring Quarter.
  • Move-OutWaste reduction during move-out

    Since 2006, SCU has offered multiple options to divert waste during campus move out. Students can donate clothing, housewares, and food to local community organizations, as well as recycle carpets and electronic waste.
  • Duplex Printing Duplex Printing

    Duplex printing, or printing double-sided, is now available in the residence halls, and residents who choose this option will save $.02 on every page they print. Duplex printing is an easy and effective way to minimize paper waste.

Recent News

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Athletics & Recreation Sustainability Initiatives
Athletics & Recreation Sustainability Initiatives

Athletics and Recreation has undertaken numerous projects to integrate sustainability into the lives of all Bronco athletes, fitness lovers, and Malley Center users.

Did You Know?
Did You Know?

This year marks the first annual Bottled Water Free Commencement at SCU for Law, Grad, and Undergrad ceremonies, as well as the Alumni Picnic. Santa Clara will be joining dozens of schools across the nation in eliminating unnecessary waste, and promoting our sustainability and social justice values.

Solution for hard-to-recycle items: Terracycle
Solution for hard-to-recycle items: Terracycle

Our campus collects certain items that would have been sent to the landfill after one use, but are now being upcycled to a create new products.

Contact Us

Center for Sustainability
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053 sustainability@scu.edu