Recycling Guide

 

Graphic design of updated signage used for waste bin labelling around Williams College. Image has four different colors to represent Trash (purple), Mixed recycling (blue), Compost (green) and Dish Return (orange) with the proper items to put in each bin.

This comprehensive recycling guide is your go-to resource for handling waste on campus! Don’t know if something can be recycled or not, or unsure of where you can dispose of certain types of batteries? Expand the category boxes on this page to find out. The left column includes the item and the right column explains if it is recyclable or not, and where to dispose of it.

If you don’t see instructions for something you believe is recyclable, or if you have any other questions relating to this guide, please email the Zilkha Center to ask about it.

You can also watch a fun video created by Ken Morotomi ’23.

 

 

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    Plain and colored office paper

     

    Shiny/glossy paper

     

    Post-It notes, envelopes

     

    Brown paper bags

     

    Magazines

     

    Newspapers

     

    Chipboard (cereal boxes, Kleenex boxes, etc.)

     

    Cardboard*

     

    Pizza boxes**

     

    Old and damaged books***

     

     

    *Flatten and stack cardboard next to recycling containers. Wet, waxed, and soiled cardboard cannot be recycled.  Please put it in the trash.

     

    **Even those with grease, but please remove plastic and crust before recycling.

     

    *** Unwanted books can be donated through the end-of-year move-out donation program — Give It Up! Books can be recycled after tearing the hard covers off.

    Dispose of these items in the blue mixed recycling containers.

    Image of both mixed recycling and trash waste bins in a garbage room on campus.

     

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    Drink bottles (plastic and glass)

     

    Yogurt containers (clean)

     

    Clear plastic take out food containers (clean)

     

    Solo cups

     

    Laundry detergent bottles

     

    Aluminum cans

     

    Aluminum foil (clean)

     

    Plastic catering trays (both the lids and the bottoms)

     

    Other plastics numbered #1-7, EXCEPT STYROFOAM, which is trash (The plastics numbering system is a classification system and is usually on the bottom of an item in the middle of the triangular recycling symbol and refers to the polymer type of the plastic, which is used for separating plastics for recycling)

    • NOT fuel canisters — to properly store and dispose of camping fuel canisters, speak with Dave Ackerson at the WOC office (Pareksy 218). They cannot be kept in the dorms.
    • NOT plastic sealed air inflatable packaging — they can be recycled in a plastic bag recycling in a store. The nearest one to campus is Stop N Shop. Other locations in the region are here.

    Image of both mixed recycling and trash waste bins in a trash room on campus.

    Dispose of these items in the blue mixed recycling containers.

  • Waxed, wet, and soiled cardboard is not recyclable Flatten and stack next to recycling containers in public areas and dorm trash/recycling rooms in the basement.
  • Lightbulbs are not recyclable
    06_Spiral_CFL_Bulb_2010-03-08_(white_back)
    CFLs = universal hazardous wasteLEDs = trash

    Incandescents = trashincandescent_15947010

    CFLs contain small amounts of mercury and are considered "universal waste." These cannot go in your trash can.  Contact your custodian for proper disposal.

    Incandescent light bulbs & LEDs cannot be recycled, but can go in your trash can. Put them in a bag before putting them in the trash to minimize the risk of bulbs breaking and cutting anyone transporting the trash

  • Most electronics contain lead or mercury and cannot be disposed of in the trash.  This is how you properly dispose of these items:

    • Toner Cartridges  There are seven boxes in different areas on campus in which you can drop off your empty toner cartridge to be recycled. You can drop off cartridges from any college owned network or local printer. Click here for the list of box locations.  Contact the OIT help desk with questions.
    • Computers, Laptops, Monitors, Printers - For personal items only - students, staff, and faculty can dispose of these safely at a one-time end-of-the-year event called GreenUp.  For college-owned equipment, contact the OIT helpdesk.
    • Media (cassettes, etc) - If you need media destroyed or recycled please contact the Records Manager and Digital Archivist, Jessika Drmacich. She leads the campus wide disposition day and can assist you.

     

     

    • Clean and gently used clothing
    • Clean and gently used shoes
    Clean and gently used clothing can be recycled in Paresky in the built-in recycling containers located near the Park St. entrance. Clothing will be donated to Greylock ABC.Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.32.57 PM
    • Styrofoam peanuts
    • Bubble wrap
    • Padded paper

    The UPS Store in the Colonial Shopping Center will often take these materials for reuse. You can drop these items off anytime during normal business hours.

    If you don’t take them there, they should just be put in the trash bin.

  • Gather reasonably transportable amounts in a box. Contact the Facilities Service desk at 597-2486 to arrange for pick up.

    • Media (cassettes, etc) - If you need media destroyed or recycled please contact the Records Manager and Digital Archivist, Jessika Drmacich. She leads the campus wide disposition day and can assist you.

     

  • During the pandemic, the college partnered with TerraCycle to launch a mask recycling program to collect and recycle disposable masks, i.e., the N95s, KN95s, and other varieties we've been relying on for the past weeks.

    We are in the process of phasing out the program but still have collection boxes in the following locations.

    While the program is still up and running, please help us collect and properly recycle masks so that they don't end up in the landfill, on the sidewalk, or in the ocean.

     

    Don't throw your used masks away anymore, bring them to a collection box near you. Thank you for your support!

    Poster that says "Recycle your disposable masks here!" Surgical masks, KN95, N95, KF94, and similar only. No cloth masks! Poster shows images of acceptable and unacceptable masks

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    • Photographs
    • Paper towels, napkins
    • Styrofoam
    • Plastic bags (can also be returned to Stop & Shop)
    • Incandescent Lightbulbs (see lightbulb section above for more info about disposal)
    • Shiny/waxy items (like a pouch for teabags or sticker/label backing)
    • Granola/ Odwalla bar wrappers  (these can be Terracycled, but we don't have a system running here)
    Trash bin

     

    Reusable Dining serviceware

    • Reusable plates, cups, bowls, mugs, silverware
    • Reusable "clamshell" to-go containers

    Reusable Collection Bins with Yellow Lids