Official Policy

We are standardizing all of our waste bins on campus through our waste reduction program to match international standards - blue for recycle, green for compost, and black for landfill. The program we are deploying across campus through Sodexo and Facilities Services is in line with international waste diversion program standards. A black container is always paired with a blue container, and a green container is always placed in rooms where food catering occurs, in break rooms, and in bathrooms for composting of paper towel waste. 

Many people have questions about what can and cannot be recycled or composted. Our waste hauler, Green For Life (GFL), has specific guidelines on this topic for the facilities available in our area. Below are the general guidelines. 

waste streams


Colorado College uses single-stream recycling, meaning that recyclable items do not have to be sorted. All recycled items are collected by Green For Life and are delivered to the Material Recovery Facility (ten minutes from CC) to be sorted, baled, and sold. It is important that you follow these guidelines to ensure that all recycling does indeed get recycled.

ALWAYS wash out and dry recycled items before placing it into the correct bin!

Accepted Items

  • Plastic
    • Plastics labeled #1-6 (No Styrofoam)
      • Please check with the Office of Sustainability for plastics labeled #7
      • At CC, some items that are labeled #7 cannot be recycled due to local guidelines
    • Plastic bottles (milk jugs, vitamin bottles, liquid detergent bottles, butter tubs)
      • Remove plastic bottle cap and throw into Landfill bib; they cannot be recycled due to local guidelines
    • Yogurt containers
      •  Place aluminum lids into the Landfill bin
  • Paper
    • Newspaper
    • Paper (Do not shred)
    • Flattened corrugated cardboard
    • Bulk or junk mail
    • Brown paper bags
    • Magazines, catalogs, and phone books
    • Soda carrier boxes (Broken down)
    • Paper towels and toilet paper tubes
    • Clean paper food boxes
      • If soiled, toss into the Compost bin
    • Books or text books
      • Books must be un-bound to be recycled
  • Metal
    • Steel or tin cans
    • Aluminum cans (Do not crush)
    • Empty aerosol cans
    • Aluminum foil
    • Aluminum catering food trays
    • Metal bottle caps (Removed from bottle)
  • Glass
    • Glass bottles and jars (All colors)
      • They must not be broken; if they are broken, toss into the Landfill bin
      • Glass bottles with metal bottle caps must be removed and can still be recycled


Composting is a method for speeding up the natural decay of organic matter by providing the ideal conditions for microorganisms to thrive. Water, warm temperatures, nutrients, and plenty of oxygen is added to the organic material and over time the compost is converted into a product that can be sold as a soil amendment. CC's are processed at a commercial compost site in southeast Colorado Springs called Midway. Items that are commercially compostable may not break down properly in a backyard compost setting. Additionally, if there is not a compostable bin, throw the items in the landfill, as compostable items are not recyclable.

ALWAYS de-package food waste before tossing it into the compost or recycle (remove all plastic, metal, glass, etc.).

Accepted Items

  • All food waste
    • Bones
    • Cheese and yogurt
    • Cooked foods
    • Coffee filters and grounds
    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Egg shells
    • Food oils, fats, butters
    • Noodles
    • Old bread and bagels
    • Meat, poultry and fish
  • Compostable straws
  • Corn based cups
  • Paper egg cartons
  • Paper napkins
  • Paper plates, bowls, and trays
  • Restroom paper towels
  • Food-soiled paper (Pizza boxes)
  • Plant based compostable serviceware

NOT Accepted Items

  • Plastic bags
  • Styrofoam
  • Food handler gloves
  • Plastic bottles
  • Food containers made from:
    • Plastic
    • Metal
    • Glass
    • Aluminum foil
    • Styrofoam
  • Plastic dinnerware (Forks, spoons, etc.)


If all materials are properly placed in recycling and compost, landfill items become a minimal part of the waste stream. During the Trash Peak waste audit last year, fully 60 percent of items thrown in the trash could have been recycled or composted! When in doubt, throw it out.

Accepted Items

  • Most plastic wrappers (Chips, bags, candy wrappers, etc.)
  • Metallic yogurt and other container lids
  • Plastic utensils
  • Single-use condiment container or pouches
  • Foam containers
  • Plastic-lined paper cups
  • Single-serving cream cheese, peanut butter, and sauce containers
  • Bottle caps (Metal and plastic)
  • Styrofoam
  • Broken glass jars and bottles
  • Alkaline batteries

Plastic grocery bags are NOT accepted in single-stream recycling, but can be brought to most retailers and grocery stores for recycling.

Electronic Waste

Batteries (not Alkaline), small electronics, printer ink cartridges, and toner can be recycled in the lower level of the Worner Center, the first floor of Tutt Library, and in the Office of Sustainability.

For large collections of smaller e-waste items, please contact Sustainability at to schedule a pickup or drop-off. 

For larger, heavy and/or bulky electronics, please contact ITS at (719) 389-6449.

For hazardous material disposal, please call Facilities Services at (719) 389-6568.

Learn more about how to recycle e-waste at CC.

Report an issue - Last updated: 10/26/2022