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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.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Recycling, Composting, and Waste

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

The following postings have been filtered by tag Mixed Recycling. clear filter
What Should I Do With My Plastic Bags?
Plastic bags and thin plastic liners should be bundled together before disposing in the recycling bin. Read More »
Can Plastic Bags Be Recycled On Campus?
Yes, Plastic bags can be recycled on campus. Read More »
Paper vs Plastic: Can Laminated Paper Be Recycled?
Laminated Paper cannot be recycled due to differences in the recycling process. Read More »
Why do we have compost containers in some buildings on campus and not on others?
The Office of Sustainability and Facilities Department have been collaborating on a university-wide Recycling System Upgrade for all SCU buildings. The program is intended to facilitate recycling and composting, increase waste diversion on campus, and standardize the appearance of our bins (no more old faded labels!). The order in which the buildings are upgraded depends on a variety of factors including bin availability, custodial service training, and communication with building administrators. Read More »
I'm an off-campus student. What are the rules for Santa Clara's curbside recycling program?
Luckily, the rules for off-campus recycling are relatively similar to the ones on-campus; both programs are single-stream, meaning you don't have to sort out all the different types of recyclables. Read More »
I recently received a promotion and have old business cards that I can no longer hand out. Are there good ways to reuse these, or should I just send them to the recycling bin?
Congratulations! Fortunately, being made of paper, business cards are among those items that can be chucked into the recycling bin. However, if you lean towards the creative side, there are a number of ways in which you can reuse these cards. Read More »
When will academic buildings get compost containers?

SCU started our compost collection program in May 2009. We began by collecting compostable waste from the kitchen in Benson Center. In September, we expanded our compost collection to Market Square and all residence halls.

SCU's composting program is still new, and we're phasing it in slowly to give the campus community time to adjust to our new waste diversion practices!

Academic buildings are undergoing a transformation to a new desk-side recycling and waste collection system. As we phase in a new building, we are adding compost collection containers in those buildings' kitchen/break rooms. All academic buildings will be transitioned this academic year.

Read More »
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.

  1. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE/PET #1)
    Most commonly used for soda botles, water bottles, shampoo bottles, peanut butter jars, etc.
  2. High Density Polyethylene (HDPE #2)
    Most commonly used for milk, water, and juice bottles, detergent bottles, yogurt and margarine containers, grocery bags, etc.
  3. Polyvinyl Chloride aka Vinyl (PVC #3)
    Most commonly used for clear food packaging, shampoo bottles, etc.
  4. Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE #4)
    Most commonly used for bread bags, frozen food bags, squeezable bottles like mustard, etc.
  5. Polypropylene (PP #5)
    Most commonly used for ketchup bottles, yogurt and butter containers, etc.
  6. Polystyrene (aka. Styrofoam) (PS #6)
    Most commonly used for meat trays, egg cartons, hot beverage cups, plates, etc.
  7. Other (#7)
    Ketchup, large water bottles, etc.
     

Uses once recycled:

  1. PET: Fibers, soft drink bottles.
  2. HDPE: Bottles, grocery bags, recycling containers, playground equipment, plastic lumber.
  3. PVC: Pipe, fencing, and non-food bottles.
  4. LDPE: Plastic bags, 6-pack rings, tubing, some laboratory equipment.
  5. PP: Auto parts, dishware, food containers.
  6. PS: Cafeteria trays, toys, desk accessories, insulation.
  7. Other: Unknown.
Read More »
I am confused about the mixed recycling program. What belongs in mixed recycling, and where do I put recyclables?

Mixed recycling:

All paper, plastics (#1-7), aluminum, glass, and tin should be placed in containers labeled with the following: a recycling symbol (outdoor cement bins), "mixed recycling", "co-mingle recycling", "recycling", "aluminum", "glass", and "plastic". Most of these bins are square and maroon. 
 
Cardboard, e-waste, and universal waste do not belong in mixed recycling.
  • 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 »
How do I recycle textbooks?
moveouttextbooksxsm

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 facilities-CSC@scu.edu, or place a work order through AIM.

Read More »
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.
Read More »
Does SCU recycle hard and soft cover books?
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. 
Read More »
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Contact Us

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