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Waste Guide


Carleton boasts “one-stream,” or single-stream recycling, which means that users can mix newspaper, magazines, plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, cereal boxes and other clean and dry cardboard into the blue one-stream recycling bin. All items with a recycling symbol (#1-7) can be placed into the bins as well, provided they are clean and free of food residue. Although most takeaway items provided by Bon Appétit are compostable, some are recyclable, including the coffee cup lids and plastic to-go boxes.


You may have a compost pile in your backyard or you may have never heard of compost before, but regardless of your background, compost at Carleton is pretty easy. Compost bins (generally yellow bins or trash cans lined with a green trash bag) are located in many places across campus, including Sayles, the library, both dining halls, many academic buildings and bathrooms on campus, and every dorm kitchen.

Compostable items include: food waste, paper towels and napkins, pizza boxes, and many of the take-away items provided by Bon Appétit (including silverware, plates and coffee cups).


Though we try to recycle or compost as many things as possible, some things belong in the trash. These items include: plastic wrap, condiment wrappers, styrofoam, popcorn bags, products made of synthetic materials (rubber, etc.)


A variety of other items can be recycled or disposed of in different places across campus:

  • Packing peanuts can be given to the bookstore, where they will be reused as space allows.
  • Used ink cartridges can be given to the helpdesk, located on the first floor of the CMC.
  • Used electronics can be put into the electronics recycling bin on the first floor of the CMC.
  • Old clothes can be donated to charity – put them in the marked boxes in any campus laundry facility.
  • Used books can be re-sold to the bookstore on any textbook buy-back day (held at the end of each term) or can be placed in the Books for Africa bin (at the bookstore entrance during textbook buyback or at the entrance to the library year-round).
  • Apparel, furniture, appliances, etc. can either be donated to the annual ACT Center Lighten Up garage sale at the end of spring term, or sold via the NNB.
  • Batteries can be disposed of in the blue battery bin in Sayles, located next to the newspaper racks near the post office.
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) can be given to Facilities (x4133).