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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about Recycling, Composting, and Waste
The SCU community can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org their questions about recycling, composting, and waste on campus. This blog will provide answers to those questions.
What Should I Do With My Plastic Bags?
Is bubble wrap recyclable?
What can I do with my old cassettes?
Can Plastic Bags Be Recycled On Campus?
Paper vs Plastic: Can Laminated Paper Be Recycled?
We have several vinyl banners that we are hoping can be recycled. Do you have any suggestions on if this can be done and how?
What are "Plastics #1-7"?
Plastic containers typically have a triangle stamp on their undersides, containing a number. This number is the Resin Code, i.e. the type of plastic used to make the container.
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE/PET #1)
Most commonly used for soda botles, water bottles, shampoo bottles, peanut butter jars, etc.
- High Density Polyethylene (HDPE #2)
Most commonly used for milk, water, and juice bottles, detergent bottles, yogurt and margarine containers, grocery bags, etc.
- Polyvinyl Chloride aka Vinyl (PVC #3)
Most commonly used for clear food packaging, shampoo bottles, etc.
- Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE #4)
Most commonly used for bread bags, frozen food bags, squeezable bottles like mustard, etc.
- Polypropylene (PP #5)
Most commonly used for ketchup bottles, yogurt and butter containers, etc.
- Polystyrene (aka. Styrofoam) (PS #6)
Most commonly used for meat trays, egg cartons, hot beverage cups, plates, etc.
- Other (#7)
Ketchup, large water bottles, etc.
Uses once recycled:
- PET: Fibers, soft drink bottles.
- HDPE: Bottles, grocery bags, recycling containers, playground equipment, plastic lumber.
- PVC: Pipe, fencing, and non-food bottles.
- LDPE: Plastic bags, 6-pack rings, tubing, some laboratory equipment.
- PP: Auto parts, dishware, food containers.
- PS: Cafeteria trays, toys, desk accessories, insulation.
- Other: Unknown.
What do I do with my yogurt container?
The yogurt container and the foil (or plastic) lid can be recycled. Look for any recycling container on campus.Read More »
How do you take care of an empty Starbucks coffee cup?
- Brown sleeve, lid, sweetner packet: recycle
- Cup*: landfill waste
- Stir stick: compost
*If you're drinking out of a compostable cup provided by SCU Dining Services, please compost the cup when you're through!Read More »
I have been keeping bottled waters to give to guests at meetings in my office and need to reorder. I understand the use of plastic bottles of water is not environmentally correct and want to do what is right. What suggestions can you give me so I can
Bottled water is unsustainable for a number of reasons. Their production is energy and resource intensive due to the actual production of plastic bottles as well as the energy needed to transport the finished products.
Tap water is your best option over bottled water. It is just as clean and safe, and oftentimes even more so. If you don't like the taste of tap water, there are a number of different filters available. Carbon filters (like the Brita ones) are very popular and help to get rid of unwanted chemicals or taste. The Brita filter is also recyclable. Whatever filter you pick, make sure that it is certified by NSF. Depending on how large your meetings tend to be, you can have reusable cups on stock, or encourage your guests to bring a reusable water bottle.Read More »
I am confused about the mixed recycling program. What belongs in mixed recycling, and where do I put recyclables?
- Cardboard gets flattened and placed near paper recycling containers.
- E-waste and Universal waste depends on the location. In residence halls, these can be placed on the ground below the "e-waste" sign, or recycled at the building's service desk. In campus offices and other buildings, these items are either picked-up or mailed to Facilities.
We are in bit of a confusing time right now, as we update and standardize our recycling containers. We appreciate your patience!Read More »