Recycling & Waste Reduction

Since 1990, Syracuse University has supported and participated in Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency’s mandatory recycling program. As recycling goes, SU is considered single stream, which means you can place all your recyclables in one recycling bin and you no longer have to sort your recycling.  SU has installed numerous recycling collection bins in every campus building. Items to recycle include:

  • wide-mouthed plastic tubs from products such as yogurt, margarine, cottage cheese,  with the #5 symbol on the bottom.
  • pizza boxes — until recently, pizza boxes with grease on them were considered trash; now they can be recycled as long as all food waste is removed.
  • number one and two plastic bottles can now be recycled with the cap still on, after the air has been squeezed out.
  • softcover books- paperbacks, phone books, manuals, workbooks, notebooks, etc. Remove any spiral, wire, or plastic binding. NO hardcover books are accepted.

More recent initiatives to reduce campus waste include:

  • composting pre- and post-consumer food waste from SU Food Services’ Commissary and all eight of its major campus dining locations. Since the inception of the program, SU has increased its food waste diversion from seven tons of material in 2010 to just under 400 tons in 2012.
  • construction materials and debris from new construction and renovation projects are now being recycled.
  • the Purchasing Department’s Excess Property disposal program encourages reuse of furniture and equipment among campus departments. This program also provides a way to recycle e-waste.
  • Polystyrene recycling program.  The cold Styrofoam shipping boxes are picked up from the labs on campus and delivered to Thermal Foams for recycling.
  • Ten Tons of Love is a semi-annual food, furniture and clothing drive. All the donated material is kept in the Syracuse region. Over the past couple of years the University students have donated between 40-45 tons of re-usable product to the community. For more information and to volunteer for the event please email: offcampus@syr.edu