Recycling Guide

Thanks for reducing, reusing, and recycling!

Don’t see instructions for something that you think is recyclable?  Have other questions about recycling?   Email the Zilkha Center to ask about it.

Interested in being more a part of the campus recycling conversation.  Consider joining the Waste & Recycling Working Group.  Email Mike for more information.

To download the Williams College Recycling Poster, click on the image to the right.

The comprehensive campus recycling guide is below.

  • WHAT

    • 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  (Even those with grease.  Please remove any plastic and crusts before recycling)

    * Flatten and stack cardboard next to recycling containers in public areas and dorm trash/recycling rooms in the basement.  (Wet, waxed, and soiled cardboard cannot be recycled.  Please put it in the trash)


    In public areas:Place these in the RED recycling containers marked "paper."
    20150331_153746In classrooms and offices:Place in the small TAN containers (smaller than trash containers).
    Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.31.36 PMIn dorms: Put in the RED containers in rooms/common rooms designated for paper. When those fill up, bring to the trash/recycling room in your dorm, typically in the basement and place in appropriate containers.


    • 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)
    • Refrigerated cartons (juice/milk) & aseptic (shelf-stable) containers
      Refrigerated and aseptic cartons like this are recyclable
    • 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)
    • 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.


    Plastic sealed air inflatable packaging cannot be recycled on campus.  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.

    In public areas: Place these in the GREEN containers marked "plastic glass cans."
    In classrooms: In the appropriately labeled small TAN container near the trash containers.
    In offices: Offices do not have containers for these items, so please take them to the nearest public recycling station in your building.
    Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.31.36 PMIn dorms: Place in the YELLOW bins in your common rooms designated for plastic, glass and metal containers. When those fill up, bring to the trash/recycling room in your dorm and place in appropriate 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.
  • Cannot be recycled
    CFLs = universal hazardous waste

    Incandescents = wasteincandescent_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 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.
    • Cell phones - Contact Nicole Pedercini in the Controllers Office. She has kindly offered to recycle unwanted phones along with the ones she recycles for her office.  Remember to wipe the memory clean before getting rid of it.  And if it is an iphone, disable the "Find my iphone" function.



    • Clean and gently used clothing
    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 receptacle.
  • Gather reasonably transportable amounts in a box. Contact the Facilities Service desk at 597-2486 to arrange for pick up.

  • These should go in trash containers. Where possible reduce the amount you use.

    • Photographs
    • Paper Towels, Napkins
    • Styrofoam
    • Plastic bags
    • Incandescent Lightbulbs (see lightbulb section above for more info about disposal)
    • Shiny/waxy items (like a pouch for teabags)
    • Granola/ Odwalla bar wrappers  (these can be Terracycled, so look for these boxes around campus.  If you can't find one, just throw it in the trash.)
      Terracycle container

Facilities Recycling Team

Photo of Bernie Baker
Bernie Baker
Campus Recycler
Custodial Office Mail to: Service Building
Photo of Colin M. Moran
Colin M. Moran
Campus Recycling Coordinator
Custodial Office Mail to: Service Building
Photo of Shannon M. Babcock
Shannon M. Babcock
Supervisor of Custodial Services
Service Building