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    Trash & Recycling

    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 Facilities Services and in cooperation with Sodexho is in line with national 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. We've seen significant results from this program and applaud your efforts in diverting waste from landfills!

    Many people have had 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. Here are some general guidelines to address some of the most common questions:


    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 compostable items(can add new hyperlink below here) are processed at a commercial compost site in southeast Colorado Springs. 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.

    • Food waste
    • Food-soiled paper (Pizza boxes)
    • Compost labeled brown paper bags
    • Paper bowls, trays, & plates
    • Restroom paper towels (All contents of bathroom waste receptacles are composted)


    Colorado College uses single-stream recycling, meaning that recyclable items (new link here) 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. 

    Please follow the recycle guidelines carefully as GFL only accepts the following: 

    • 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 are Bioplastic and therefore can be composted.
    • Newspaper
    • Paper (Do not shred)
    • Flattened corrugated cardboard
    • Chipboard
    • Brown paper bags
    • Steel or tin cans
    • Glass bottles and jars (All colors, not broken)
    • Aluminum cans (Do not crush)
    • Empty aerosol cans
    • Liquid detergent bottles
    • Aluminum foil
    • Aluminum catering food trays
    • Bulk or junk mail
    • Plastic milk jugs
    • Milk or juice cartons that are labeled recyclable
    • Magazines, catalogs, and phone books
    • Empty vitamin bottles
    • Yogurt containers (Not the aluminum lids)
    • Butter tubs
    • Soda carrier boxes
    • Paper towel and toilet paper tubes
    • Food boxes
    • Paper egg cartons


    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.

    • 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

    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, 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 Hbyl Community Center at East Campus. For larger electronics, please contact ITS at (719) 389-6449.

    For hazardous material disposal, please call Denise Sheridan at (719) 389-6678. 

    For additional information, please email the Office of Sustainability at or check out their Waste At CC webpage.