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Waste Diversion in Offices

These guidelines identify materials that can (and cannot) be recycled or composted at SCU.

Print-your-own Signs
Please click on the images below to view a PDF file of each sign. Print in color, full-size on an 8.5x11 inch white paper or contact Facilities to request laminated signs.

Sign showing food, SCU serviceware, and napkins that can be composted - Image of items that can be composted, such as food, SCU serviceware, and napkins Link to file
Pictures of items that can be recycled, including glass, plastic bottles, and paper. - Sign showing pictures of items that can be recycled, such as plastic bottles. Link to file
Pictures of items that must be sent to the landfill, including single-use serviceware, adhesives, and non-paper wrappers - Single-use serviceware, latex, adhesives, and non-paper wrappers Link to file

At your desk

All desk work stations are provided with the following bin components:

(Please contact 408-554-4742 or email for a missing bin or for questions.)

  • Image links to full content

    (Blue container)

    Recycling Receptacle

    Custodial staff will empty this for you if you have correctly placed recyclables in this container.

    Recyclable items include: glass, plastics #1-7, aluminum, metal (includes aluminum foil), and paper. Paper includes white/colored paper, junk mail, cereal boxes, shoeboxes, newspapers, and magazines. Please do not include large cardboard, electronic or universal waste in here.

  • Image links to full content

    (Small black container)

    Landfill Receptacle

    This is a temporary container for your landfill waste. Please empty the contents of this container into your office's common area waste container.

    Landfill waste: anything that is not reusable, recyclable, or compostable.

More details on where to place waste:

Recyclable Waste

  • Most recyclable materials can now be placed in the same container! (**with the exception of cardboard, electronic waste, and universal waste, see below)
  • Two places to recycle: paper, glass, plastics #1-7, aluminum cans, and tin cans
    • Desk-side, blue recycling receptacle
    • Common area, maroon recycling receptacles
    • Custodians will empty your desk-side recycling container once a week.

Compostable Waste

  • What to compost: food scraps, napkins, paper towels, tea bags, coffee filters, coffee grounds, take-out containers from Bon Appetit (compostable service ware includes: napkins, plates, cups, straws, food containers).
  • Where to compost: Common area, compost receptacle
  • Custodians empty this container as often as needed. Compostable materials are taken to an off-site composting facility.

Landfill Waste

  • The amount of landfill waste produced by individuals at our desks is significantly decreasing through active recycling and composting. Please recycle and compost as much as you can. To ensure the cleanliness of your desk-side landfill waste receptacle, all compostable materials should be placed in the shared compost receptacle.
  • Two places to dispose of landfill waste:
    • Desk-side, black landfill waste receptacle
    • Common area, maroon waste receptacle
    • Every SCU employee will empty his or her own landfill waste container into the common area waste receptacle as needed.

Other Recyclable Items

  • Cardboard should be flattened and placed near any common-area recycling container.
  • Electronic waste is any broken appliance that used an electric cord or battery. Please contact Facilities to request a pick-up (x4742 or
  • Universal waste is any hazardous waste. At SCU, this typically includes batteries, ink cartridges, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and cell phones. Please send small items to Facilities via intercampus mail, or contact Facilities to request a pick-up (x4742 or

Please contact or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on recycling and waste at SCU

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