Santa Clara University


Frequently Asked Questions

 Compost. Photo from SCU Office of Sustainability.

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

 Recycling. Photo from SCU Office of Sustainability.

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

 Landfill. Photo from SCU Office of Sustainability.

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.

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.
Universal Waste

Waste such as CDs, batteries and ink cartridges need to be recycled separately. Universal Waste FAQs.

 Donations. Photo from Pixabay.

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

 Plastics. Photo courtesy of UC Merced 2012.

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.

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


Frequently Asked Questions about Recycling, Composting, and Waste

The SCU community can e-mail their questions about recycling, composting, and waste on campus. This blog will provide answers to those questions.

My department has a lot of extra office supplies (binders, folders, etc.). Where can we send them?

One option is to donate these items to the Resource Area For Teachers (RAFT).

RAFT is a non-profit organization that believes hands-on teaching is the best way for teachers to teach and students to learn. They provide creative hands-on activities, educational resources, workshops and inexpensive materials, (many donated by local businesses), to enrich pre K-12 education and community group programs.

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How do I recycle textbooks?

Textbooks can be recycled along with any type of paper.  Because texbooks are quite heavy and have sharp corners, do NOT place them in blue paper recycling bags. Instead, please request a sturdy paper recycling container from Facilities.

Either call x4742, e-mail, or place a work order through AIM.

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How should I recycle during a campus office move?
During a campus office move you can recycle the same materials that you would normally recycle. However, if you are anticipating recycling a larger amount of materials than usual (a stack of books, for example) please contact Facilities at extension 4742 to request large recycling bins. Also, Facilities should be contacted to pick up any e-waste being recycled. For more helpful tips on how to reduce waste during a campus office move visit the Faculty and Staff Sustainability website.
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Should bottles and cans be cleaned before they are placed in recycling bins around campus?
coke can
Beverage containers should be emptied before being placed in the recycling receptacle, but it is not necessary to rinse them. This makes it easier for sorting and  transporting. Some items with particularly messy or unpleasant contents, such as soup and tuna cans, should be rinsed in order to make sorting easier.
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Can I recycle the tops of pizza boxes when they are clean?

Please place pizza boxes in COMPOST containers.

If this is not an option where you are, please remove the top of the box (only if it is clean) and recycle with corrugated cardboard.

Generally, we do not recycle pizza boxes because the cheese and grease from the pizza contaminates the box, rendering it unable to be recycled into new products. However, since many times only the bottom part of the box is contaminated, it is sometimes possible to separate and recycle the top. If, and only if, the top of the box is clean, recycle it with corrugated cardboard.

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Does SCU recycle hard and soft cover books?
Both hard and soft cover books can be recycled here at Santa Clara University. If you are planning on recycling a small amount of soft-cover books, they can be placed in the blue paper recycling bag or recycling bin. 
However, if you are planning on recycling a large amount of books, Facilities should be contacted for a pick up at extension 4742. 
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Does SCU recycle televisions?
Yes, SCU does recycle televisions. Televisions are a form of e-waste, which is anything that uses a battery or an electric cord. Signs in the residence halls’ recycling/waste area should instruct students where to place e-waste. Those wishing to recycle e-waste in the office should call Facilities for a pick up at extension 4742. 
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What do I do with printer/copy paper packaging?

Paper ream packaging IS RECYCLABLE.

In the past, these wrappers needed to be discarded in the waste bin because their waxy coating put them in a different paper recycling category.

Now, ALL PAPER TYPES can be recycled in the blue paper recycling bags near copiers, and in any container on campus labeled "recycling".

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Where can I recycle newspapers?

newspapersNewspapers can be placed in any recycling receptacle.

  • Residence halls: place your paper in the "recycling" bin at each residence hall’s waste disposal area.
  • Throughout campus: newspapers and all other paper recyclables should be placed in any bin labeled "recycling" as well as the blue recycling bags found near copiers.
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What should I do with e-waste?

Directions for recycling e-waste in campus residence halls are posted in each building's waste collection area.

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Can light bulbs be recycled?

light bulbThe vast majority of recycling programs will not accept light bulbs (such as incandescent bulbs). However, under California's Universal Waste Rule, it is illegal to dispose of compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) (and other fluorescent lights).

A single CFL contains about 5 milligrams of mercury, which can be dangerous to humans and the environment if not disposed of properly. These and other items considered universal waste must be either sent to an authorized recycling facility or to a universal waste consolidator.

More resources:

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What is e-waste?

E-waste is anything that uses a battery or electric cord. All e-waste can be recycled at Santa Clara University.
Here are some examples:

  • computer
  • lamp
  • remote control
  • hair dryer
  • Super Nintendo
  • alarm clock
  • fan
  • hair straightener
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Contact Us

Center for Sustainability
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053