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Frequently Asked Questions

 Compost. Photo from SCU Office of Sustainability.
 
Compost

Find out how, where, and what to compost on and off campus. Compost FAQs.

 Recycling. Photo from SCU Office of Sustainability.
 
Recycle

All plastics, metals, glass, and paper can be recycled on campus. Recycling FAQs.

 Landfill. Photo from SCU Office of Sustainability.
 
Landfill

Chip bags, wrappers, and off-campus disposable items can be placed in landfill bins on campus. Landfill FAQs.

 Electronics. Photo courtesy of UC Merced 2012.
 
Electronics

Find out how to properly donate, recycle, or dispose of your electronics here. Electronics FAQs.

 Office supplies. Photo from SCU Office of Sustainability.
 
Office Supplies

Have old office supplies that you no longer need? There are many recycling options you can take. Office Supplies FAQs.

 Batteries and ink cartridges. Photo courtesy of UC Merced 2012.
 
Batteries/Ink Cartridges

Batteries and ink cartridges need to be recycled separately. Batteries/Ink Cartridges FAQs.

 Donations. Photo from Pixabay.
 
Donations

Find out how to donate unwanted items such as books, clothes, and other supplies. Donations FAQs.

 Plastics. Photo courtesy of UC Merced 2012.
 
Plastics

All plastics, including thin-film plastics, can be recycled on campus. Candy wrappers and chip bags must be sent to landfill. Plastics FAQs.

 Move-out. Photo from SCU Office of Sustainability.
 
Move-Out

Find information for Spring Move-Out here. Move-out FAQs.

Frequently Asked Questions about Recycling, Composting, and Waste

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Can Plastic Bags Be Recycled On Campus?

Yes, plastic bags can be recycled on and off campus (in Santa Clara county). However, making recycling centers are different so it is important to check with your local county to make sure that you can recycle your plastic bags.

Why can't all plastic bags be recycled everywhere? Because different counties use different recycling facilities, and each facility uses different methods for sorting out recyclables. Certain kinds of processes make it difficult for plastic bags to get sorted and as a result, they can get trapped in conveyor belts and cause the machines to jam (http://recyclingweek.planetark.org/recycling-info/plasticbags.cfm). When this happens, it is often very difficult and dangerous for workers to pull out those bags.

If you live in an area that does not accept plastic bags and are looking for ways to dispose of them without throwing them in the waste, there are many options. The best way is to bring them to stores and supermarkets that have plastic bag collection containers. Safeway, Albertsons, Target, Whole Foods, and many other retailers have collection bins specifically for this purpose. You can find a store location near you by simply using this link: plasticbagrecycling.org. Of course, it is always better to reduce the amount of plastic you consume, so next time when you are out shopping, try bringing your own reusable bag.

Tags: Eliminating Waste, Mixed Recycling, Off-campus recycling, Plastic, Recycling process, Waste, Wrappers/Containers

Contact Us

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